UK Parliament to Debate Banning Trump

PHOTO: Donald Trump, president and chief executive of Trump Organization Inc. and 2016 Republican presidential candidate, speaks during a campaign rally at Pennichuck Middle School in Nashua, N.H. on Dec. 28, 2015. PlayAndrew Harrer/Getty Images
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The British Parliament is set to debate barring Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump from entering the country. The debate, which will be live-streamed, is scheduled to take place on Jan. 18.

Parliamentary consideration will occur in response to an online petition submitted to the Parliament's page last month calling for Trump's prohibition from the country.

"If the United Kingdom is to continue applying the 'unacceptable behaviour' criteria to those who wish to enter its borders, it must be fairly applied to the rich as well as poor, and the weak as well as powerful," the petition reads.

The petition has garnered almost 600,000 signatures, well past the 10,000 signature threshold to elicit a response and the 100,000 threshold to trigger parliamentary debate.

In response, George Sorial, EVP and Counsel for the Trump Organization, pointed out Trump's multiple business developments in the UK, which he said could be endangered by an adverse move from the Parliament.

"Any action to restrict travel would force The Trump Organization to immediately end these and all future investments we are currently contemplating in the United Kingdom," Sorial said Tuesday afternoon. "Westminster would send a terrible message to the World that the United Kingdom opposes free speech and has no interest in attracting inward investment."

The petition first appeared after Trump called for a pause to Muslim immigration in the United States in December. At the time, UK Prime Minister David Cameron called Trump's proposal “divisive, unhelpful and quite simply wrong."

But it wasn't initially clear that Parliament would actually weigh in. "The government has a policy of not routinely commenting on individual immigration or exclusion cases," the governing body said last month.

As in many things, Trump appears to be the exception to the routine.