Tycoon raises stakes over UK entry
Trump threat to withdraw Scottish investment over ban
US businessman Donald Trump has warned that his £700 million planned investment in two championship golf courses in Scotland will be withdrawn if he is banned from entering the UK.
Trump owns Turnberry (pictured) in Ayrshire and the new International Golf Links near Aberdeen and has pledged huge development projects in both.
But his comments on stopping muslims entering the US prompted an online petition to bar him from Britain. Last night the US presidential hopeful for the Republicans said that if the threat was carried out he would pull his £200m investment into Turnberry rand £500m into his Aberdeen resort.
He has already been stripped of his Robert Gordon University honorary degree and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon withdrew his membership of the GlobalScot network of business ambassadors. The golf authorities have also hinted that Turnberry would be excluded from hosting the Open tournament because of the potential for a backlash from players and sponsors.
A statement released by the businessman’s New York-based company said: “The Trump Organisation has plans to invest more than £200m into the development of the iconic Trump Turnberry resort, located in South Ayrshire, Scotland.
“Our work there has been widely supported by the local community and created hundreds of jobs for the region. Over the coming years, we intend to further develop Trump Turnberry and invest millions more at the site, creating sustained economic growth for South Ayrshire and Scotland.
“Additionally, we have plans to invest £500m towards further development at the 1,400-acre Trump International Golf Links, Aberdeen, which has been consistently rated the best Modern Golf Course in Great Britain and Ireland by the prestigious Golfweek magazine and many others in the global golf community. Any action to restrict travel would force the Trump Organisation to immediately end these and all future investments we are currently contemplating in the United Kingdom.
“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 would also alienate the many millions of United States citizens who wholeheartedly support Mr Trump and have made him the forerunner by far in the 2016 presidential election. Many people now agree with Mr Trump that there is a serious problem that must be resolved. This can only be achieved if we are willing to discuss these tough issues openly and honestly.”
The UK government has so far suggested that it has no intention of banning Mr Trump from the UK.