Donald Trump’s immigration order ‘wrong’, Theresa May says

PM hopes status of EU and British citizens can be guaranteed in course of Brexit talks

US president Donald Trump’s order temporarily banning entry to people from seven Muslim-majority countries is wrong and Britain does not plan to adopt a similar policy, prime minister Theresa May has said.

Mr Trump’s order, announced hours after his first meeting with Mrs May in Washington last month, barred people from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen from entering for 90 days.

“We thought that was wrong, that was divisive, it is not a policy that the United Kingdom would adopt,” Mrs May said when asked about the order during a news conference on Thursday.

Mrs May on Thursday underlined plans to make guaranteeing the status of EU nationals living in the UK and those of Britons living in the rest of the union a top priority once formal Brexit talks begin.


“I think there is goodwill on all sides in relation to this matter. We recognise people want reassurance for their future,” she said.

Mrs May was speaking after meeting Italian prime minister Paolo Gentiloni in London on Thursday.

He said Brexit negotiations “will not be easy” but the process must not become “destructive”. He said said his country would take a “constructive and friendly” approach to the divorce but warned it will be “difficult” to reach an agreement.

The meeting came after MPs overwhelmingly backed legislation allowing Mrs May to formally begin Brexit without changing it.

Mr Gentiloni said: “We are aware of the fact that negotiations will not be easy and we also know, and this will certainly be the Italian attitude, that we need a constructive and friendly approach.

“There is absolutely no point in having a destructive negotiation between the EU and the UK...So, obviously we will do this in the hope of fostering the unity of the 27 countries because without the unity of the 27 countries, it will be difficult to come to some agreement.”

Brexit secretary David Davis has warned the House of Lords to do its “patriotic duty” and back the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill.

The Bill will now need to be approved by peers before Mrs May can begin exit talks under Article 50 of the EU treaties, which she has promised by April.

Mr Davis told unelected peers not to try to change the simple two-clause Bill as it was passed by MPs unamended, which he said “reflected the will of the people”.