They weren’t expecting to hear this.
The United Kingdom recently issued the not-so-veiled threat that it would ban billionaire businessman and GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump from entering the country due to his comments regarding the immigration problems facing the United States.
However, Trump and his organization have struck back at the U.K. with a threat of their own, and Trump’s threat actually has the potential to hurt the U.K. economically far more than their ban would hurt him.
In a statement released to Fox News, the vice president of Trump’s organization, George Sorial, declared that the U.K. banning Trump “would create a dangerous precedent and send a terrible message to the world that the United Kingdom opposes free speech.”
Furthermore, the move 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.”
As the Fox News story noted, Trump is a major investor in the United Kingdom, with properties such as the Turnberry golf resort in Scotland, which in July hosted the Women’s British Open — as well as a much-publicized Trump visit.
Sorial said if the U.K. did take action against Trump, it “would force the Trump Organization to immediately end these and all future investments we are currently contemplating in the United Kingdom.”
The threat to ban Trump from entering the U.K. stemmed from a petition posted to the British government’s website that called for such action, a petition that garnered more than 560,000 signatures.
The popularity of the petition prompted the British Parliament to schedule a debate on the petition for Jan. 18, though the debate would not be followed by a binding vote on the subject.
It is worth noting that a recent poll showed roughly a third of British citizens support the idea of immigration policies similar to the ones proposed by Trump.