British officials rip ‘divisive, unhelpful’ Trump after thousands sign petition to ban him from UK
Response says Theresa May may exclude non-European Economic Area nationals, but did not mention Trump specifically
The government has responded to a petition calling for Donald Trump to be banned from coming to Britain by pointing out that it has powers to exclude foreign nationals if their presence is “non-conducive to the public good”.
After the petition gained more than 500,000 signatures, the government released a statement that did not go as far as to say that he would be stopped from entering the UK, but did say Theresa May found Trump’s remarks in relation to Muslims “divisive, unhelpful and wrong”.
In what will be seen by some to be a pointed statement, it added that the home secretary “may exclude a non-European Economic Area national from the UK if she considers their presence in the UK to be non-conducive to the public good.
“The home secretary has said that coming to the UK is a privilege and not a right and she will continue to use the powers available to prevent from entering the UK those who seek to harm our society and who do not share our basic values.”
The statement also makes it clear that David Cameron “completely disagrees” with Trump’s remarks.
The petition was set up in response to Trump’s call for a moratorium on Muslims entering the US.
Home Office officials have pointed out that much of this statement has been published before by Downing Street, and that it does not indicate that it is more likely that Trump will be banned from the UK.
The statement adds: “The government recognizes the strength of feeling against the remarks and will continue to speak out against comments which have the potential to divide our communities, regardless of who makes them. We reject any attempts to create division and marginalization amongst those we endeavor to protect.”