Donald Trump's intervention on independence could boost support for Yes campaign, says SNP
Trump questions whether Scotland would “go for the vote” on independence, before adding, “You don’t see it. It would be terrible. They just went through hell”
Donald Trump - credit: PA
Donald Trump’s suggestion that Scottish independence “would be terrible” is likely to boost support for the Yes campaign, according to the SNP.
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal Trump discussed whether Scotland would “go for the vote” on independence, before adding, “You don’t see it. It would be terrible. They just went through hell.”
Trump’s concerns seemed to stem from doubts over the future of golf competition the British Open in an independent Scotland, with the US President saying: “One little thing, what would they do with the British Open if they ever got out? They’d no longer have the British Open”, before adding: “Scotland. Keep it in Scotland”.
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Trump’s comments follow a war of words with former FM Alex Salmond over plans for an offshore wind project, which Trump argued would have a negative impact on his Aberdeenshire golf resort.
Nicola Sturgeon has previously expressed concern over “deeply abhorrent” comments made by Trump during the US election campaign, though the First Minister promised to “engage positively and constructively with the American administration” after his election.
But a spokesperson for the SNP responded to reject Trump’s views on independence, saying: “Like many countries around the world, America gained its independence and it’s safe to say that things have worked out well for them.
“The fact that even the most ardent Unionists have shunned Trump's intervention tells its own story, and shows it's more likely to boost support for Scottish independence.”
Trump was also asked about the prospect of a UK-US trade deal, telling the Wall Street Journal the US would be “very involved with the UK”.
The President also said he has a “very good relationship” with Theresa May and that the US is “absolutely looking to do a major trade deal”.
He said the trade deal will “kick in… as soon as it’s appropriate”, and indicated he would prioritise access to the UK market for the US agriculture sector.
“And it’ll be a big trade deal – much, much more business than we do right now, many, many times.
“I mean, one of the things that – I have a very good relationship with the EU people and all, but they are very, very protectionist.
“You know, our farmers and others can’t even deal with – you know, you can’t sell in. It’s very unfair. And that’s what I’ve been talking about for a long time.
“It’s so stacked against the United States. Now, the EU was conceived to the point that they wanted to do something to compete with the United States.
“Well, you know, you could say that’s a friendly act or an unfriendly act. But it’s very protectionist. Among the most, we have farm products that you just can’t get into the EU. And we don’t do that to them.”
Speaking after Trump’s election as president, Sturgeon said: “I never want to be, I am not prepared to be, a politician that maintains a diplomatic silence in the face of attitudes of racism, sexism, misogyny or intolerance of any kind.
“I hope that president-elect Trump turns out to be a president very different to the kind of candidate he was and reaches out to those who felt vilified by his campaign.
“But people of progressive opinion the world over, I think, do have to stand up for the values of tolerance and respect for diversity and difference.”
The North East Fife MP is the SNP’s foreign affairs spokesperson and has had a busy workload as Brexit progresses
The US senator described the Scottish Government’s decision as a “significant step” and warned that fracking represented a danger to air quality and water supplies.
The First Minister will meet the Icelandic president along with representatives of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change
The Prime Minister also hinted that EU citizens could lose some of the rights they have in the event of no Brexit deal