Donald Trump threatened to drop over $1 billion of planned investments in Scotland if he is banned from the United Kingdom, according to reports Wednesday. British lawmakers are scheduled to debate on Jan. 18 whether to bar the U.S. Republican presidential hopeful from the country.
The Trump Organization, the real estate tycoon’s conglomerate company, had plans to invest more than 200 million pounds ($293 million) to develop his resort in Scotland’s South Ayrshire area and invest 500 million pounds ($732 million) in a golf course in the northeastern port city of Aberdeen, the Guardian reported. However, his company issued a statement saying that it would be forced to “immediately end these and all future investments” in the U.K. if any travel restrictions are imposed on the 69-year-old.
“Westminster would create a dangerous precedent and send a terrible message to the world that the United Kingdom opposes free speech and has no interest in attracting inward investment,” Trump’s company reportedly said, in the statement. Millions of U.S. citizens supporting Trump would also be alienated, the statement warned the U.K., according to the Guardian.
“Many people now agree with Trump that there is a serious problem that must be resolved. This can only be achieved if we are willing discuss these tough issues openly and honestly,” the Trump Organization said.
The British Parliament is holding the debate after a petition seeking Trump's ban to the European country received over 570,000 signatures. British lawmakers are required to consider any official petition that garners 100,000 signatures for debate.
The petition, started in December 2015, was triggered after Trump called for a “total and complete” travel ban on Muslims entering the United States. British Prime Minister David Cameron was among those who condemned the GOP presidential candidate, though he did not support the idea of banning Trump from the country.
The British government said in December that Home Secretary Theresa May has the authority to block non-European Economic Area nationals from entering the U.K. "The home secretary has said that coming to the U.K. is a privilege and not a right, and she will continue to use the powers available to prevent from entering the U.K. those who seek to harm our society and who do not share our basic values," the government said at the time.