Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's company has threatened to withhold up to $1 billion of investment if the U.K. government decides to ban his entry into the country.
Thousands of U.K. citizens signed a petition in December calling on the government to block Trump from entering the country. On Thursday, more than 570,000 had signed the petition, legally forcing the U.K. government to debate the petition on January 18.
According to the statement, The Trump Organisation claims to be planning to invest £700 million ($1.02 billion) in two golf resorts in Scotland and promises millions more in the future. At the moment, £200 million is earmarked for the Trump Turnberry resort, while £500 million will go towards developing the 1,400 acre Trump International Golf Links in Aberdeen.
"Any action to restrict travel would force The Trump Organization to immediately end these and all future investments we are currently contemplating in the United Kingdom," the statement reads.
"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."
This is the latest event in the spat between Trump and the U.K. In December, Trump claimed areas of London were so "radicalized" there were "no-go areas" which the police would not enter.
Later, the Scottish government dropped the magnate as its business ambassador, stripping him of his "GlobalScot" status. Trump branded the Scottish politicians as "ungrateful."
Despite the debate, the U.K. government is highly unlikely to ban Trump from the country. Prime Minister David Cameron stated in December that Trump's remarks about Muslims "divisive, stupid and wrong," but he did not support a ban.