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Donald Trump: Brexit is sign of independence desire - except in Scotland

Published 24/06/2016

US presidential hopeful Donald Trump said the UK's vote to exit the EU is a sign people all over Europe "want to have independence" - apart from in Scotland, where he "can't imagine they would go through that again".

The businessman and Republican presidential candidate opened his newly-refurbished Turnberry golf course in Scotland on the day the UK voted to leave the EU.

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, leader of the ruling Scottish National Party in the devolved Scottish Parliament, immediately launched a new drive for independence after Scotland voted overwhelmingly to Remain in the EU but were outvoted by the larger population in the rest of the UK.

Mr Trump said the last independence referendum in 2014 was "a nasty period" - in contrast to the EU referendum, which he described as "a great thing".

The Turnberry ribbon-cutting ceremony was interrupted by comedian Simon Brodkin, also known as Lee Nelson, attempting to hand out golf balls with a swastika printed on them.

Mr Trump demanded security "get him out" before addressing reporters from around the world who have been following him closely since he was elected to stand against Democrat Hillary Clinton as the presumptive Republican candidate for US president.

He said: "People want to take their country back and they want to have independence, in a sense.

"You see it all over Europe. In my opinion, you're going to have more than just what happened last night.

"You're going to have, I think, many other cases where they want to take their borders back, their monetary (policy) back, take a lot of things back.

"They want to be able to have a country again."

Mr Trump says his strong showing in the polls for the US presidential race is evidence of a similar discontent, particularly over immigration.

"I really do see a parallel between what's happening in the US and what is happening here," he said.

"People want to see borders. They don't necessarily want people pouring into their country that they don't know who they are or where they have come from, they have no idea," he said.

Mr Trump, whose mother was born in Scotland, said the issue of Scottish independence is "up to the people of Scotland" but "we've been through this".

"I'll leave it up to the people," he said.

"I love the people of Scotland. That is why I built, in Aberdeen, one of the great golf courses in the world.

"I've gotten to know the people of Scotland so well through my mother and everything else.

"The people of Scotland are amazing people and that question really has to be addressed to the people.

"It was a very, very close vote and I don't know that people want to go through that again.

"I was here when people were going through that vote.

"I didn't take sides but I will tell you it was a nasty period, and I can't imagine they would go through that again but the people of Scotland may speak differently."

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