Government officials have been scrambling since President Trump’s Executive Order to place an immediate ban on immigrants and refugees was enacted this past Friday. But it seems it’s not only officials and representatives in the States that have been thrown into a tizzy from the declaration, but our allies across the pond have also found themselves flabbergasted by the unprecedented presidential action.
A petition to rescind President Trump’s invitation to a State Dinner in the UK sprang up almost immediately after news of the immigration ban hit, and has gained so many signatures - nearly 1.7 million and still counting at this moment - that UK Parliament now has to hold an official debate over the status of the invitation. The debate is now slated to take place on February 20th in the House of Commons.
Meanwhile, an emergency debate was held in the House of Commons on Monday, January 30th, assembled by former Labour leader Ed Miliband and Conservative MP Nadhim Zahawi. The debate brought forth numerous rousing and emotional speeches from the MPs in attendance including from Zahawi himself who passionately stated, “[President Trump] should reconsider this order and consider the evidence that suggests it will have precisely the opposite consequences to the one he intended to achieve.”
He continued to say, “the America I know, Mr. Speaker, would welcome [Syrian refugees], would be a cradle of comfort and would not seek to reject them or others like them.” Zahawi closed by noting that President Trump should “always, in everything he does, remember the values of which his great country was built.” The Stratford-on-Avon MP’s speech was met with plenty of agreeance from his fellow House of Commons peers.
A number of representatives also expressed their disappointment in Prime Minister Theresa May’s lack of response to Trump’s decree. Labour party MP, Emily Thornberry, expressed her concerns in a fiery speech saying, “...when it comes to human rights, when it comes to women’s rights, when it comes to torture and the treatment of minorities, President Trump is already descending down a very dangerous slope. And when that happens, we need a Prime Minister who is prepared to tell him to stop, not one who simply proffers her hand and silently helps him along.”
As a result of the debate and its fervent speeches, Parliament voted unanimously to call for a repeal of the US ban on immigration and refugees, and to urge President Trump to reconsider and either remove or amend his Executive Order.
Consequently, pressure is compounded on PM May, as she chooses whether to side with President Trump and isolate herself from her own government, or stand to upset the volatile nature of the United State’s new president.
Only time will tell...and probably also Twitter.