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British PM Theresa May rejects petition signed by almost 2 million people against Donald Trump's state visit to UK

Wednesday February 15, 2017
By Namrata Tripathi

After May announced the Queen's invitation to Trump for a state visit, hundreds of people in the UK were against his visit citing his immigration ban.

U.S. President Donald Trump, right, shakes hands with Theresa May, U.K./Olivier Douliery/Bloomberg via Getty Images

United Kingdom Prime Minister Theresa May on Wednesday formally rejected a petition signed by almost 2 million people in Britain against United States President Donald Trump's visit to the country. May rejected the petition saying that her government "does not support" the view of the petitioners.

After May announced the Queen's invitation to Trump last month for a state visit during her visit to the United States, many people in the UK were against his visit citing Trump's immigration ban and launched a petition titled  'Prevent Donald Trump from making State Visit to the United Kingdom'. The petition soon became popular and garnered more than 1.8 million signatories, enough to be debated on in the UK Parliament. A debate date is set for the petition on February 20.

The 100,000 target required for the MPs to consider holding a debate on the motion in the House of Commons easily passed with an enormous response as thousands of people flooded to the site to sign the petition. It has already become the third most popular petition in Parliament's history. Reports state that at one point, more than a thousand people were signing the petition per minute.

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The petition states: "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."

Trump's executive actions on extreme vetting and visa ban applies to migrants, refugees and US legal residents — green-card holders — from Iraq, Iran, Sudan, Somalia, Syria, Libya and Yemen. The order has been put on hold temporarily by US courts.

Even senior Conservatives like Labour Party's leader Jeremy Corbyn joined the call of hundreds of thousands of people to cancel Trump's visit. Corbyn said that Trump's visit should be suspended until the controversial immigration ban is in place in America.

May released an official response stating that her government believes that the US President should be extended the "full courtesy of a State Visit".

"We look forward to welcoming President Trump once dates and arrangements are finalised. [Her Majesty's] government recognises the strong views expressed by the many signatories of this petition, but does not support this petition," the response read.

"During her visit to the United States on 27 January 2017, the Prime Minister, on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen, invited President Trump for a State Visit to the UK later this year. The invitation was accepted. This invitation reflects the importance of the relationship between the United States of America and the United Kingdom. At this stage, final dates have not yet been agreed for the State Visit," it added.
Trump's State visit is expected sometime later this year in August-September.


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