Over 1,500 people in Eastleigh have signed a national petition calling on the government to withdraw Donald Trump’s invitation of a state visit to the UK.
Executive orders signed by the new American President bans nationals from Muslim majority countries that are linked to Islamic terrorism from travelling to the USA.
The move has unleashed a storm of protest throughout the world.
In the UK an online petition titled “Prevent Donald Trump from making a State Visit to the United Kingdom” has gained over a million signatures in less than 24 hours making it eligible for a parliamentary debate.
Any petition on the government website that achieves 100,000 signatures will be considered for a debate but has to go before a committee of backbenchers first.
A year ago a similar petition entitled “Block Donald J Trump from UK entry” garnered almost 587,000 signatures but failed to get past the committee stage.
The political situation this time round is more complicated with the prime minister facing criticism from within her own party as well as the opposition.
Theresa May had initially refused to comment on the ban which would prevent genuine refugees from claiming sanctuary in the USA but as pressure on Number 10 grew, a statement was released to say she would appeal to the US if the ban affected British citizens adding:
“We do not agree with this kind of approach and it is not one we will be taking.”
The Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, went further by tweeting that it is:
“Divisive and wrong to stigmatise people on the basis of nationality.”
The petition is the second largest out of the 25,000 listed on the parliamentary website.
By two o’clock this afternoon 1,695 Eastleigh residents had signed the petition and they have been joined by almost 3,000 signatures from the Winchester constituency which includes part of Chandler’s Ford.
Speaking today on the BBC Daily Politics Show Eastleigh’s MP Mims Davies agreed that the US policy could have “terrible and unforeseen consequences” and described the travel ban as “very concerning” and “quite unpalatable.”
“We need to do everything we can to make sure our nationals can travel and we need to make sure America really knows what’s its doing – it’s going to affect things globally.”
The MP told presenter Jo Coburn
“I wouldn’t sign up to it (a ban). The statement from Mo Farrah summed up a lot of what my constituents have been saying and I’d be prepared to say it in the House (Parliament).”
While noting the concerns Davies indicated she would not support a ban on President Trump visiting the UK.
“It’s right that the petitions committee should look at the matter because people are concerned, but a ban for a ban I’m uncomfortable with as it leaves us in a difficult position long term as well.”
Meanwhile Eastleigh’s Liberal Democrat Leader Keith House seemed to have no such reservations using his account to urge more people to sign the petition.
You can view or sign the petition here .