President Donald Trump has triggered massive protests around the world after announcing a 90-day ban on nationals from seven mainly Muslim countries visiting the US.
America’s refugee settlement programme is also suspended for 120 days, with Syrian asylum seekers barred indefinitely from the US.
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The vast majority of Daily Express readers support Donald Trump's migrant ban
The President wants tougher security vetting for future visitors from the named countries, as promised during his election campaign.
His ban covers the nationals of Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Iran, Somalia, Libya and Yemen.
The British Government has said it does not agree with the policy and will not be looking to implement it here.
But 99 per cent of Daily Express readers who took part in our telephone poll yesterday backed “extreme vetting” for migrants to Britain.
Theresa May plans to continue with Mr Trump's state visit to Britain
As demonstrators gathered at Downing Street, protesting at President Trump’s policy, Mrs May stood by the invitation she conveyed to the President which he accepted during their talks in Washington last Friday.
The Prime Minister spoke at a press conference with Irish PM Enda Kenny during her latest trip to Dublin.
She said: “The US is a close ally of the United Kingdom. We work together across many areas of mutual interest and have that special relationship. I have issued that invitation for a state visit for President Trump to the UK and that invitation stands.”
However, she also stressed Britain will not impose a travel ban on people from particular countries.
The UK Reacts To Trump's 'Muslim' Travel Ban Mon, January 30, 2017
President Trump signed an executive order banning immigration to the USA from seven 'muslim' countries. This led to protests across America and, now, the UK.
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People demonstrate during a protest at Downing Street in central London against US President Donald Trump's controversial travel ban on refugees and people from seven mainly-Muslim countries
Mrs May said: “The UK takes a different approach. I was Home Secretary for six years and at no stage did I introduce these sorts of arrangements.
I have issued that invitation for a state visit for President Trump to the UK and that invitation stands
“President Trump has been elected by the people of the US. He’s now moving to put in place what he said he would do. We have a different approach to these matters in the UK.”
But her disagreement will disappoint critics who had hoped her first public statement since the row erupted in earnest would be more forthright.
A petition demanding that Mr Trump should not be honoured with a state visit had gained more than 1.4 million signatures by last night, with protests in cities across the UK.
The President wants harder vetting for several Muslim majority countries
Ukip MEP Patrick O’Flynn, a senior adviser to party leader Paul Nuttall, told the BBC: “The way the liberal left over here has over-reacted, and the hysteria, to me show a chasm between ordinary common sense people and the things they worry about, including the Islamist threat to all western countries including the UK, and the Guardianista bubble.”
He said he would not support Britain introducing a “blanket ban” on people from particular countries.
He added: “All I am saying is that I think rigorous vetting is appropriate.
“We’re living in a very dangerous era where Islamist terror is one of the biggest threats to our way of life. “
The migrant ban has triggered protests around the world
And we’re living in a high migration climate – the British immigration system has been completely out of control.
“It seems perfectly reasonable to be thinking about new protections for the vast majority of law-abiding British citizens from all backgrounds.”
Earlier in the House of Commons, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson strongly defended the invitation to President Trump to come to Britain on a state visit.
And he rejected critics’ attempts to compare President Trump to Hitler and Nazi Germany. But he did brand Mr Trump’s travel ban “divisive, discriminatory, wrong”.
May meets Trump: Historic first meeting in pictures Fri, January 27, 2017
The two leaders will spend about an hour in face-to-face talks in the Oval Office, where President Trump has restored a bust of Winston Churchill removed by predecessor Barack Obama.
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President Trump Meets With British PM Theresa May At The White House
He also claimed to have won a special exemption from the ban for anyone with a British passport, including dual nationals with a UK passport who are also citizens of one of the seven countries on the banned list.
UK sources blamed earlier confusion about the position of British dual nationals on the fact the Trump policy had previously been shared only with the President’s inner circle, causing a “muddle” in the US government about how it was to be implemented once it was announced.
Former US premier Barack Obama last night broke with presidential protocol by criticising his successor, saying he “fundamentally disagrees” with President Trump’s visa ban.
And Labour MP Mike Gapes provoked Tory outrage by branding Mrs May “Theresa the appeaser” as he joined criticism of her for not condemning the Trump travel ban sooner.
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