Members of the UK parliament think Donald Trump is “dangerous,” a “fool,” and a “buffoon,” with “bonkers” policy ideas.
British lawmakers had harsh words for the Republican presidential candidate yesterday (Jan. 18), as the House of Commons debated a public petition to bar Trump from entering the country. The petition has garnered nearly 600,000 signatures.
One argument for banning Trump is the fact that he called to ban all Muslims from entering the United States in December, following a deadly mass shooting in San Bernardino. ”His words are poisonous. They risk inflaming tension between vulnerable communities,” said MP Tulip Siddiq of the Labour Party.
The danger of Trump’s words fueling racial tensions came up several times during the debate. Jack Dromey, Siddiq’s party colleague said Trump shouldn’t be allowed “within 1,000 miles of our shore” because he would embolden the British far right and terrorists. “ISIS needs Donald Trump and Donald Trump needs ISIS,” he said. “He is free to be a fool. He is not free to be a dangerous fool on our shores.”
The parliament itself cannot ban anyone from the country; the decision would come to Home Secretary Theresa May. Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh, an MP from the Scottish National party (SNP), said that May had in the past banned ”serious criminals, far-right extremists, homophobic extremists” and that “these rules should be applied consistently and equally to all.”
“Are we going to make exceptions for billionaire politicians?” added Siddiq.
Trump has threatened that he would pull out from his Scottish investments if he were to be banned from the UK.
Corri Wilson, another SNP member said on Twitter that Trump’s comments were “deplorable,” but the Scottish communities where Trump had invested could not afford to lose the money.
“Any attempt at a ban of this kind would force Mr Trump to abandon his plans for a further £700 million investment,” said a representative of Trump International Golf Links in a statement. “It is absurd that valuable parliamentary time is being wasted debating a matter raised as part of the American presidential election.”
This sentiment was echoed by Conservative MP Adam Holloway, who said the motion to ban Trump was “embarrassing” to the UK, and made the country look “intolerant and totalitarian.”
His party colleagues agreed that Trump should be free to travel wherever he wishes, but had some choice words for him. “His policy to close borders if he’s elected as president is bonkers, and if he met one or two of my constituents in one of the many excellent pubs in my constituency, then they may well tell him that he is a wazzock [a “stupid or annoying person“] for dealing with this issue in this way,” said Victoria Atkins.
“While I think this man is crazy, while I think this man has no valid points to make, I will not be the one to silence his voice,” said Tom Tugendhat.