by Katie Kausch
Donald Trump has dug himself into a 'uuuuge hole in the United Kingdom: after months of spouting anti-Muslim sentiments, a petition moving to ban Trump from entering the UK has gained a staggering 527,000 signatures. The petition was formed on Dec. 8, just hours after Trump called for "a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States," which sparked outrage from many.
"The UK has banned entry to many individuals for hate speech. The same principles should apply to everyone who wishes to enter the UK," the petition reads. "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."
Any petition that gets over 10,000 signatures gets a response from the government and any signature over 100,000 is required to be considered for debate by Parliament. The response threshold was hit three days ago and the debate threshold was hit two days ago. So far, there has been no official government response. Petitions through this website are "almost always debated," according to the official Petition site for the UK Government and Parliament, although if a similar topic has been recently debated or will be soon, Parliament reserves the right to skip the debate.
Odds are, Trump won't actually be banned from the country, even if Parliament does debate the matter. Although people can be barred entry into the country for hate speech, those people generally have been convicted of racially motivated hate crimes, aides to the U.K. Chancellor George Osborne told The Guardian. Trump's comments, while offensive to many, don't fit that standard.
Trump hasn't responded to the petition on Twitter- his favorite form of response- but he has recently commented on the UK's "Muslim problem."
On the flip side, a petition titled "Don't Ban Trump From the United Kingdom" had 32,000 signatures as of press time.
This petition says, "For starters, we shouldn't be banning people for their opinions on domestic actions in a U.S. political race that doesn't concern us. But, more importantly, if he does actually win the nomination and then goes on to win the presidency, we then have to work with a man who we banned from our country in the first place -- which totally offsets and upsets relations between two closely bonded countries."
The government has yet to issue a response to this petition either. Both petitions will be live for another six months, the standard for petitions hosted on the government website.