LONDON — A petition on Parliament’s website calling for President Donald Trump not to be given a full “State Visit” to the UK has gained more than 925,000 signatures in less than 48 hours.
The petition was launched over the weekend in response to the US President signing an executive order banning people from seven majority Muslim countries — Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen — from travelling to the US.
It was announced on Friday, during Theresa May’s visit to Washington to meet Trump, that the new President would come to Britain on an official visit later this year on a “State Visit,” an official engagement that entails a banquet and a meeting with the Queen, the official head of state.
However, the petition says that while Donald Trump should be allowed to come to the UK as US president, “he should not be invited to make an official State Visit because it would cause embarrassment to Her Majesty the Queen.”
The petition reached the threshold for debate in Parliament, 100,000 signatures, on Sunday and has gained serious momentum after being widely promoted on Twitter. As of 8.07 a.m. GMT (3.07 a.m. ET) on Monday morning, the petition has 931,591 signatures.
While that means the motion will have to be debated in Parliament, Downing Street is already signalling it is unlikely to change anything. The BBC is reporting on Monday morning that a source at Number 10 says downgrading the visit would be a “populist gesture” and would “undo everything” May achieved during her visit to Washington last week.
The Prime Minister drew criticism over the weekend from other politicians for her failure to condemn Trump’s blanket ban policy. She was forced to issue a statement late on Saturday night saying she “does not agree” with the ban.
It is not the first time Donald Trump has been the subject of a Parliamentary petition. A petition launched in December 2015 calling for then Republican candidate Trump to be banned from the UK attracted over 500,000 signatures and, according to the Telegraph, was Parliament’s most popular petition to date at that time. The petition was debated in Parliament in January of last year.
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