A million Britons want to cancel Trump's state visit

Parliamentary petition follows US president's immigration crackdown on on Muslim-majority nations.

    May invited Trump during her visit to the White House on Friday [EPA/Shawn Thew]
    May invited Trump during her visit to the White House on Friday [EPA/Shawn Thew]

    More than a million people have signed a parliamentary petition demanding that US President Donald Trump is prevented from making a state visit to Britain.

    Monday's milestone far exceeds the 100,000 signatures needed to get parliament to consider debating the issue.

    The petition gathered the large number of signatures in less than 24 hours.

    "Donald Trump should be allowed to enter the UK in his capacity as head of the US Government, but he should not be invited to make an official state visit because it would cause embarrassment to Her Majesty the Queen," the petition reads .

    The response follows Trump's executive order banning visitors, refugees, and migrants from seven majority-Muslim countries from entering the US.

    British Prime Minister Theresa May, the first foreign leader to visit the new president, formally invited Trump for a state visit during a meeting between the pair on Friday.

    May's enthusiastic embrace of Trump and refusal to condemn his travel  ban sparked outrage in the UK , earning her strong criticism from media personalities and politicians.

    Following the furore, May said in a statement that she disagreed with the ban. Earlier, she had said the issue was a "matter for the US".

    Protests planned

    Several prominent personalities, including Somali-born Olympic champion Mo Farah and the British-Iraqi Conservative Party MP Nadhim Zahawi, said they were affected by the ban.

    British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said he would work to ensure British nationals were not affected by the ban.

    However according the US embassy in London's website, British dual nationals with citizenship in the targeted countries were being advised not to apply for a visa.

    Johnson has reportedly sought clarification from his US counterparts over the issue.

    OPINION: Trump's Muslim ban is a dangerous distraction

    Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the UK's main opposition Labour Party, has called on the prime minister to postpone a state visit, writing on Twitter that Trump "should not be welcomed to Britain while he abuses our shared values with [a] shameful" travel ban.

    Meanwhile, European leaders including German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande have been forthcoming in their criticism of the ban.

    Protests are expected in cities across the UK on Monday evening against the discriminatory measures, including one outside the prime minister's residence at Downing Street.

    Nationals of Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Yemen, are affected by the ban, which includes those who are dual nationals of states other than the US, and permanent US residents.

    The decision triggered mass protests at airports and town halls across the US in solidarity with those affected.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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