Donald Trump’s latest antics—calling for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the US” on Monday—go beyond his previous provocations, and his campaign no longer feels like an amusing sideshow. Perhaps it never was.
In the UK, an online petition on the government’s website seeking to ban Trump’s entry into the country has amassed nearly 160,000 signatures from outraged British citizens. Because the petition has more than 100,000 signatures, Parliament is required under law to consider it for a debate.
The UK government declined to comment on whether or not its parliamentary members—several of whom signed the petition themselves—will agree to actually debate the motion to block Trump from the country. A spokesman told BuzzFeed News it’s all a “hypothetical question” at the moment anyway, as Trump hasn’t revealed actual plans to travel to the UK.
The Guardian, meanwhile, reported that the government “has signaled it will not refuse US presidential candidate Donald Trump entry,” with chancellor George Osborne saying: “The best way to defeat nonsense like this is to engage in robust and democratic debate, and to make it clear his views are not welcome.” The UK has previously banned several people from entry, including Dieudonné M’bala M’bala, a French comedian accused of antisemitism.
Eight of 10 of Britain’s major newspapers lambasted Trump on their Wednesday front pages, according to Vice, which wryly noted: “Nothing unites British people more than contempt for a perceived idiot.”