Donald Trump’s business conglomerate fired back Tuesday against a scheduled debate in British Parliament to discuss whether the Republican contender should be banned from entering the United Kingdom.
British lawmakers will debate later this month whether Trump’s call for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the United States is a reason to prevent him from coming to Britain.
“Westminster would create a dangerous precedent and send a terrible message to the world that the United Kingdom opposes free speech,” George Sorial, executive vice president and counsel for the Trump Organization, told Fox News in a statement.
Several British officials blasted Trump’s proposal following the Dec. 2 terror attack in San Bernardino, Calif., with Prime Minister David Cameron calling the idea “divisive, unhelpful and quite simply wrong" in a break from the convention that British officials keep their opinions about U.S. presidential candidates to themselves.
Since Trump's remarks, two petitions have been circulated regarding his potential travel to the U.K. The first, with more than 560,000 signatures, calls for Trump to be banned from entering Britain. A rival petition with nearly 40,000 signatures, calls on officials to refrain from imposing a ban.
The House of Commons Petitions Committee said Tuesday that both petitions would be debated Jan. 18. Chairwoman Helen Jones said the debate "will allow a range of views to be expressed," and did not mean the committee supported a ban.
The debate will not result in a binding vote.
In response to the petitions, the British government said in a statement that while they don’t normally comment on individual exclusion decisions, Home Secretary Teresa May could ban someone if she “considers their presence in the UK to be non-conducive to the public good”.
“[We] will continue to speak out against comments which have the potential to divide our communities, regardless of who makes them,” the statement continues.
The Trump Organization has warned that restricting Trump's travel would have ripple effects, saying a ban would "alienate the many millions of United States citizens who wholeheartedly support Mr. Trump and have made him the forerunner by far in the 2016 presidential Election."
Trump has touted his Turnberry golf resort in Scotland on the campaign trail as an example of his business acumen.
The real estate mogul visited the property this past July when it hosted the Women's British Open.
“I think that I'd be very close with Britain," Trump said at the time. "We would be, we would have, such a great relationship with this part of the world."
Trump has said he is looking to invest further in Turnberry and other locations in the U.K.
Yet Trump’s company has also warned that any official action taken against him “would force The Trump Organization to immediately end these and all future investments we are currently contemplating in the United Kingdom.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.