Borders MP hits out at Donald Trump over travel ban order

Borders MP Calum Kerr has hit out at new US president Donald Trump's decision to turn away refugees and visitors from northern Africa and the Gulf.

Monday, 30th January 2017, 6:26 pm
Updated Monday, 30th January 2017, 6:30 pm
Borders MP Calum Kerr.

Mr Kerr has also criticised UK Prime Minister Theresa May for not initially speaking out against the controversial policy.

“I’ve been contacted by a large number of constituents concerned about the actions of Donald Trump’s government over the weekend,” said the Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk MP.

“I condemn the ban on refugees and citizens of certain countries and was dismayed to see the Prime Minister’s failure to speak truth to power in the wake of it.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May meeting US president Donald Trump in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington DC.

“This failure diminishes the UK’s standing in the world and shows the folly of the Government’s rush to cosy-up to a world leader who has already come into conflict with his own judiciary.

“However, it was inspiring to see the response from governors and members of Congress from across the US who protested against this ill-judged measure.

“Of course, we will need to have a dialogue with the new president, but we must also have clear red lines in any diplomatic relationship.

“There are certain core principles that we should never hesitate to defend.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May meeting US president Donald Trump in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington DC.

“The UK Government has also refused to cancel, or downgrade, a state visit from Mr Trump this year.

“In my view, this should be taken off the table until the president’s executive order is rescinded.”

Mr Kerr has co-sponsored an early-day motion by fellow Scottish National Party MP Tasmina Ahmed Sheikh today condemning Mr Trump’s decision to close America’s borders to all refugees and to all people born in Iran, Iraq, Syria , Somalia, Sudan, Yemen and Libya.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has also slammed the travel ban and urged Mrs May to take more of a stand against it, saying: “I think we all have a duty in these instances to speak up when we consider values that we all hold dear to be under threat.”

“I think many people would like to hear a stronger view from the UK Government about the immigrant and refugee ban that was announced towards the end of last week.

“I don’t think it would be appropriate in these circumstances for a state visit to go ahead while these bans are in place, given the understandable concern that people have about them and the messages they send and the impact on people.

“I made both of those points clear to her.”

Asked if she would be prepared to meet Mr Trump herself, Ms Sturgeon said: “The relationship between Scotland and America is an important one.

“I’m not going to start getting into refusing to meet people, but, equally, nor am I going to maintain diplomatic silences over things that are really important in a values and principles sense.”