MPs have unanimously passed a Commons motion condemning Donald Trump’s “discriminatory, divisive and counterproductive” travel ban imposed on seven majority-Muslim countries.
On Monday evening, former Labour leader Ed Miliband and Conservative MP Nadhim Zahawi secured an emergency parliamentary debate on the president’s executive order.
Zahawi, the MP for Stratford-on-Avon, was himself hit by the travel ban as he was born in Iraq. Both of his sons study at American universities. He told the Commons the US should be a “cradle of comfort” for refugees rather than try to shut them out.
And during the debate, Miliband said the the accounts of what happened to people attempting to enter the US over the weekend “sounded like the results of the actions of a tin-pot dictatorship” rather than what “we would expect or hope for from the United States”.
As thousands protested nearby outside Downing Street, in part at Theresa May’s decision extend the offer of a state visit to London to Trump, MPs agreed the following motion.
The Commons motion read:
That this House has considered the matter of the need for repeal of President Trump’s discriminatory, divisive and counterproductive ban on entry to the United States for people from seven predominantly Muslim countries and the indefinite ban placed on Syrian refugees.
Miliband, who had been hoping to speak at the demonstration on Whitehall but was not able to get through the crowds, told The Huffington Post: “I think Parliament today sent a very important to signal to President Trump, that this ban cannot stand.
“The fact that it passed unanimously shows the strength of feeling there is not just across the House of Commons but in the country as well.”
There have been widespread protests across the US at Trump’s crackdown on travel from the Middle East. His Executive Order bans all Syrian refugees indefinitely and other asylum seekers.
He also barred entry to the US for those from seven predominately Muslim countries – Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen – for 90 days.
Theresa May has faced a barrage of criticism for failing to condemn the order, which was signed shortly after she left Washington having met with Trump.
More than one million people have signed a petition demanding May withdrawn her offer of a state visit.
Earlier in the Commons, Boris Johnson was urged to “have the guts to speak out” against the US president.
Johnson repeatedly assured MPs that he found the policy “divisive, discriminatory and wrong”, but rejected numerous comparisons of Trump to Adolf Hitler.
He also repeated that British citizens born in any of the proscribed countries, or hold dual nationalities, would now not be affected by the ban.
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