The United Kingdom has been one of America’s closest allies for over 200 years. Yet the British Parliament recently engaged in a debate on banning a possible U.S. presidential candidate.
On Monday, January 18th, in response to a grassroots petition signed by over 574,000 British citizens, members of Parliament discussed whether Donald Trump should be permitted entry into the United Kingdom due to his consistent use of hate speech and possible influence on preexisting radical groups in the country.
The debate even touched on whether Trump’s message could be considered terrorism itself. Tulip Siddiq of the Labour party stated,
His words are not comical, his words are not funny. His words are poisonous.
She along with other Muslim members of Parliament spoke on personal experiences of bigotry due to the rhetoric spurred by Trump’s speeches.
Those against the ban questioned whether it would cause more harm than good; banning Trump could possibly increase his popularity among his supporters both in the UK and the U.S. They also argued, somewhat ironically, that the debate itself is fueling Trump’s publicity. Other arguments included the difficulties that could arise if Trump is indeed elected President. Imposing a ban could make foreign policy conversations between each country very difficult.