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7 Jan, 2016 11:27

Trump will scrap £700mn Scottish investments if banned from UK

Trump will scrap £700mn Scottish investments if banned from UK

US tycoon and presidential hopeful Donald Trump has responded to the announcement that British MPs will debate a petition calling for him to be banned from the UK by threatening to pull out of a £700-million investment deal in Scotland.

On Tuesday, it was announced that the House of Commons would debate the petition on January 18. It has gathered more than 565,000 signatures.

The petition calls for Trump to be barred entry to the UK. It was created after the Republican candidate said Muslims should be banned from entering the US.

In December, Trump proposed a ban on Muslims entering the country until the security services could “figure out what’s going on here.”

However, responding to the petition against him, Trump said the decision to ban him from the UK would result in a significant withdrawal of investment from his Scottish projects.

The Trump Organization plans currently include £200 million worth of investment in a resort in South Ayrshire and £500 million more for a golf course in Aberdeen.

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,” the company said in a statement.

“Westminster would create a dangerous precedent and send a terrible message to the world that the United Kingdom opposes free speech and has no interest in attracting inward investment.”

It added that the move would alienate US citizens who “wholeheartedly support Mr Tump.”

“Many people now agree with Mr Trump that there is a serious problem that must be resolved. This can only be achieved if we are willing discuss these tough issues openly and honestly.”

On January 18, MPs will discuss the petition to ban Trump alongside another launched to oppose a ban, which has garnered 40,000 signatures.

The petition itself states: “The UK has banned entry to many individuals for hate speech. The same principles should apply to everyone who wishes to enter the UK. If the United Kingdom is to continue applying the ‘unacceptable behavior’ 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 British government has previously suggested it would bar people who pose a threat to the civil security of the UK, but did not mention Trump specifically.

Labour MP Paul Flynn will lead the Westminster Hall debate, which will not result in a vote. He says he would urge Trump to come to Britain to “view London/Newport/Cardiff areas of proud racial harmony.”

Trump previously claimed London is riddled with extremists, with places “that are so radicalized that police are afraid for their own lives.”