Trump praises Britons for "taking back their country"

Washington (dpa) - Republican Donald Trump praised Britain's decision to leave the European Union during a visit to his golf resort in Scotland on Friday and drew parallels between the vote and his own candidacy for US president.

"People want to take their country back, they want to have independence," Trump said as he visited his revamped Turnberry golf resort in South Ayrshire, Scotland.

The presumptive Republican candidate said Britain's vote to leave the EU in a referendum was a "great thing" and marked a "historic day" for the British people.

"They wanted to be independent. They got tired of seeing stupid decisions, just like the American people," Trump said.

He predicted similar moves across Europe as citizens seek to "take their borders back. They want to have their monetary back."

"People are angry all over the world. They're angry over borders, they're angry over people coming into the country and taking over and nobody even knows who they are," he said.

Trump praised British Prime Minister David Cameron, but said he had misjudged the views of his people on the European Union.

Trump is expected to be formally nominated as the Republican candidate at a party convention next month and will face Democrat Hillary Clinton in November elections.

Clinton said in a statement that she wants to limit the impact of Britain's departure from the European Union on the US economy.

"Our first task has to be to make sure that the economic uncertainty created by these events does not hurt working families here in America," she said.

The former secretary of state also underscores the "steadfast commitment to the special relationship with Britain and the transatlantic alliance with Europe."

She said the uncertainty underscores the need for "calm, steady, experienced leadership in the White House" in an unnamed dig at Trump, whom she has lambasted as unfit for the presidency.

If elected, Trump vowed in a statement to strengthen ties with "a free and independent Britain."

He described the British vote as a precursor to the US vote.

"Come November, the American people will have the chance to re-declare their independence," he said, pointing to his policies on trade, immigration and foreign policy.

"They will have the chance to reject today's rule by the global elite, and to embrace real change that delivers a government of, by and for the people."

The trip was Trump's first international foray since he secured the Republican presidential nomination. Unlike trips taken by past candidates, this trip was focused instead on personal business interests, and Trump spent much of his press conference outlining improvements to his golf course.

After landing in Scotland earlier Friday, Trump on Twitter described people as "going wild over the vote." Returns however showed that Scotland had supported staying in the EU and would undertake a fresh vote on independence from Britain.

There have been some protests abroad over insensitive comments Trump has made in the US presidential campaign trail. Two Muslim leaders invited him to visit a mosque during his Scotland trip in hopes that the populist billionaire can "learn more about the Muslims that he offends almost every time he opens his mouth," they said.

Neighbours of Trump's Aberdeen golf course have raised Mexican flags within sight of the property "in solidarity" with Mexicans and other people the candidate has insulted, The Guardian reported this week.

Last update: Fri, 24/06/2016 - 16:28

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