A petition opposing U.S. President-elect Donald Trump's state visit to the UK has raised more than 1.2 million signatures, but the visit will likely go through nonetheless.
UK Prime Minister Theresa May visited Trump in Washington on Friday, when she also announced plans for Trump's state visit to the UK as a sign of good faith between the two nations.
Just hours after May announced Trump's state visit, however, Trump signed the controversial executive order that slaps an immigration ban on travelers from seven Muslim-majority nations. This sparked great criticism of May's invitation to Trump and people are no rallying to block the visit.
UK Petition Against Trump State Visit
British lawyer Graham Guest created the public petition at the end of November 2016 on the country's Government and Parliament website to prevent Donald Trump from making an official state visit to the UK. Back then, Guest had no specific reason in mind other than a profound dislike of Trump.
"Donald Trump should be allowed to enter the UK in his capacity as head of the US Government, but he should not be invited to make an official State Visit because it would cause embarrassment to Her Majesty the Queen," reads the description of the petition.
The petition had received only 372 signatures in two months, notes CNN, but Trump's immigration ban sparked a whopping surge in signatures and at the time of writing, more than 1.2 million people signed it.
Trump State Visit To UK In Effect Despite Petition
"An invitation has been extended and accepted," said May's Downing Street office, as cited by The New York Times.
BBC News, meanwhile, has learned from a source that rejecting the visit would be a "populist gesture" and since the invitation has already been accepted, canceling it would "undo everything." Consequently, BBC notes that Downing Street has rejected the calls to cancel the visit.
"America is a huge important ally. We have to think long term," the Downing Street source further told the BBC.
Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn, however, highlights that the prime minister would fail the people if she did not at least postpone the visit.
.@Theresa_May would be failing the British people if she does not postpone the state visit & condemn Trump's actions in the clearest terms
— Jeremy Corbyn MP (@jeremycorbyn) January 29, 2017
Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron is against the visit as well, noting that any potential Trump visit to the UK should be postponed until the "disgraceful" immigration ban ends.
Otherwise, Farron adds, May would be putting the Queen in a terrible position of welcoming an individual responsible for banning British citizens solely based on their faith.
A state visit typically involves sumptuous ceremony and pomp, frequently with a stay at Buckingham Palace hosted by the Queen. No specific date has been announced yet for Trump's state visit to the UK, but it seems that it's too late to back out of it now.
Protests against Trump's travel ban are planned for Monday in London and several other major British cities. Back in the United States, protesters have also been rallying against the immigration ban, expressing solidarity with those stranded at airports nationwide. A number of major U.S. technology companies have also taken a public stance against the immigration ban, and several tech leaders have spoken out.