WASHINGTON, United States, Jun 23 – Donald Trump takes his first international trip since presumptively clinching the Republican presidential nomination, jumping out of the US political frying pan and into the “Brexit” fire by arriving in Scotland Friday.
The New York celebrity billionaire is scheduled to attend the ceremonial re-opening of his Trump Turnberry golf course on the very day that the British will wake to learn whether they have voted to remain in the European Union or backed the historic move to defect from the 28-member bloc.
With the intense and bitter campaign in Britain coming down to the wire, and Prime Minister David Cameron invoking wartime spirit to call on citizens not to “walk away” from European democracy, Trump repeated his position that the British should leave the EU.
Trump has shocked residents of Britain and Europe with his explosive style, his insult-heavy campaign, and deeply controversial attacks on ethnic and religious groups.
He has pledged to deport millions of undocumented immigrants from the United States, build a wall on the border with Mexico and have that country pay for it.
He has called for a ban on all Muslims entering the United States, a reaction to the migrant crisis in Europe which he has pointed to as fuelling terrorism.
In some ways the trip is reminiscent of Barack Obama’s high-profile voyage to Germany in July 2008 before he was president.
Like Trump, Obama was his party’s presumptive nominee, having prevailed in a bitter primary battle against Hillary Clinton, but not yet the official party flagbearer.
But Trump stands starkly apart in his approach to Europe. While Obama spoke to a crowd of tens of thousands about his dreams of moving on from the divisive George W. Bush era and wooing a unified Europe, Trump has triggered alarm on the continent.