An online petition asking the British government to ban Trump from entering the U.K. garnered more than 566,000 signatures, more than 56 times the number needed to receive an official reply. On Wednesday, Home Secretary Theresa May delivered that response.
It was essentially a non-answer.
“Exclusion powers are very serious and are not used lightly,” May said. “The Home Secretary will use these powers when justified and based on all available evidence.”
“The Government recognises the strength of feeling against [Trump’s] remarks and will continue to speak out against comments which have the potential to divide our communities, regardless of who makes them,” she added. “We reject any attempts to create division and marginalisation amongst those we endeavour to protect.”
Petitions online require 100,000 signatures for their issues to receive attention in the British Parliament, so we could very well see members of the Labour and Conservative parties from Wellingborough to Kensington blasting or supporting Trump from every angle.
U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron recently said that “if [Trump] came to visit our country, I think he would unite us all against him.”
Trump drew the ire of many Britons when he called for a ban on all foreign Muslims entering the United States. These comments prompted U.K. resident Suzanne Kelly to create the petition, which read:
“The UK has banned entry to many individuals for hate speech. The same principles should apply to everyone who wishes to enter the UK.
If the United Kingdom is to continue applying the ‘unacceptable behaviour’ criteria to those who wish to enter its borders, it must be fairly applied to the rich as well as poor, and the weak as well as powerful.”