READ: Boris Johnson's FULL statement to the Commons on Donald Trump 'Muslim ban'

Posted On: 
30th January 2017

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson addressed MPs today over the US immigration block created by Donald Trump widely branded a 'Muslim ban'. 

Boris Johnson faced questions from angry MPs today
Credit: 
PA Images

In view of the understandable concern and uncertainty it may be helpful if I describe for the House the consequences for British citizens and dual nationals of the executive order issued last Friday. Let me begin by saying this is not UK policy, it is not our policy, nor is it a measure that this government would consider. I've already made clear our anxiety about measures that discriminate on grounds of nationality in ways that are divisive and wrong. 

On 27 January President Trump issued an executive order banning the citizens of seven countries from entering the US for a period of 90 days. Those countries are Syria, Iraq, Iran, Somalia, Yemen, Libya and Sudan. The order makes clear that no US visas will be issued to citizens of those states and anyone who already has a visa will be denied entry. The immigration policy of the US is of course a matter for the government of the US. But on the face of it this executive order had consequences for some British citizens. For that reason I spoke yesterday to the US administration and my Right Honourable Friend the Home Secretary has today spoken to General Kelly, the Secretary of Homeland Security.

I'm able to provide the following clarification The general principle is that all British passport-holders remain welcome to travel to the US, we have received assurances from the US embassy that this executive order will make no difference to any British passport-holder irrespective of their country of birth or whether they hold another passport. In any case the executive order is a temporary measure intended to last for 90 days until the US security systems has added new precautions. This is, of course, a highly controversial policy which has caused unease and I repeat that this is not an approach this government would take.

Let me conclude by reminding the House of the vital importance of this country's alliance with the US, on defence, intelligence and security we work together more closely than any other two countries in the world. That relationship is overwhelmingly to our benefit. The Prime Minister's highly successful to the White House last week underlined the strength of that transatlantic alliance. Where we have differences with the US we will not quail from expressing them, as I have done today. If they were listening, if the members opposite were listening, as the Prime Minister did yesterday, as she did indeed in her excellent speech in Philadelphia last week, but we also repeat our resolve to work alongside the Trump administration in the mutual interests of our countries.