The UK government has heard Britons’ calls to ban US Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump from the country, and parliament will debate the proposal later this month, according to The Guardian.
A petition to ban Trump from the UK began circulating online after the candidate called for a “complete shutdown of Muslims” entering the US following the terror-related shootings in San Bernardino, California, last month.
The petition to ban Trump stated that the UK has in the past “banned entry to many individuals for hate speech.”
“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,” the petition said, according to Reuters.
The UK government responds to all petitions with more than 10,000 signatures, and parliament debates any petition that reaches 100,000 signatures, according to Reuters.
One Trump-related petition has reached more than 560,000 signatures, according to The Guardian.
UK Prime Minister David Cameron’s office has already condemned Trump’s comments about Muslims. Last month, a Cameron spokeswoman said that Trump’s calls for a shutdown of Muslims entering the US were “divisive, unhelpful and quite simply wrong.”
Although the debate has been scheduled, it’s unclear how likely it is that Trump would actually be banned from the UK. Member of parliament Helen Jones, who heads the committee that chooses which petitions to debate, cautioned that “by scheduling a debate on these petitions, the committee is not expressing a view on whether or not the government should exclude Donald Trump from the UK.”
Reuters reported that the UK can ban people from the country if “they have engaged in what the government determines to be unacceptable behaviour.” There is precedent for the country banning people for “fostering hatred that might provoke inter-community violence,” according to the news service.
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