On Monday 18 January, British MPs debated whether Donald Trump should be banned from the UK. Colin Yeo joined BBC World News to discuss whether such a ban would be legal.
The debate, held in a secondary chamber of the House of Commons, was scheduled after a petition calling for the ban attracted over 500,000 signatures. The petition emerged in response to Donald Trump’s call for all Muslims to be denied entry to the United States. Since the powers to ban an individual from the country lie with the Home Secretary, the debate did not end in a vote.
Garden Court Chambers immigration barrister Colin Yeo spoke to BBC World News on the legality of the ban and highlighted that the Home Secretary does have the power to ban people from coming to the UK:
“There is a lot of discretion…They do have policy guidance that was established in 2005 and that has stood the test of time….The criteria which seems to be the closest in the Trump case is fostering inter-community hatred that might promote violence in some way.”
Colin went on to state that the debate raises the question of “whether it’s desirable to ban people simply because you don’t like what they’re saying.”