Donald Trump has predicted the breakup of the European Union and warned Scotland against the risks of a second independence referendum.
During a visit to Scotland hours after Britain opted to leave the EU in a historic referendum, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee said that without strict migration controls Europe would be unrecognizable within a decade.
In an interview with the Times, Trump said: “The people have spoken. I think the EU is going to break up. I think the EU might break up before anybody thinks in terms of Scotland. I really think that without the immigration issue [the EU] wouldn’t have had a chance of breaking up… the people are fed up, whether it’s here or in other countries. You watch: other countries will follow.”
Trump’s own campaign in the US has centred on his controversial stance on immigration, including the erection of a wall on the US-Mexican border and the imposition of a temporary ban on all Muslims entering the US.
Asked what he would do to curb the number of migrants entering southern Europe, he said: “I would not allow them in. I would help them but I would have to bring them back and maybe create safe zones over there in some form.
“You’re going to have to. You cannot allow this to happen to Europe. It would be so much easier for me to tell you: ‘Oh, I’d accept them with open arms,’ but Europe is not going to be recognisable in 10 years.”
Trump said Barack Obama’s intervention in the EU referendum campaign, when the president warned that Britain would be back of the queue for a trade deal with the US, was “negative”, and promised to prioritise the country in a future deal.
While he gave assurances that the special relationship with the US would continue with England, Scotland and Northern Ireland independently, he urged caution against breaking up the UK. “One thing I have to say about Scotland is they have to be careful. The oil price is down and those [Scottish revenue] numbers are a lot different when the oil prices are down.”
He added that the thought of going through another disruptive independence referendum so soon “is very sad”.
Trump broke off from the White House campaign trail for the visit to his golf resorts in Scotland at the weekend. On Saturday, the Guardian was denied access to an event after Trump took offence over a reporter’s question regarding his allegedly “toxic” politics.
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