DONALD Trump has warned he will withdraw £700 million of investment in his championship golf courses in Scotland if he is banned from the United Kingdom.
The US presidential hopeful last night threatened to end his plans to pour more than £200m into the Turnberry resort in South Ayrshire and £500m into the Trump International Golf Links outside Aberdeen.
Mr Trump was reacting to an online document signed by more than 500,000 people calling for the billionaire businessman to be outlawed from coming to the UK.
The petition was set up after Mr Trump said there should be a “total and complete shutdown” of Muslims coming to America, a remark which received widespread condemnation.
Later this month MPs will debate the petition, which notes that Britain has “banned entry to many individuals for hate speech” in the past.
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.
• READ MORE: MPs to debate calls to ban Donald Trump from UK
“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 candidate for Republican nomination in this year’s US presidential election made the offending remarks following terrorist-related shootings in San Bernardino, California, at the end of last year.
A couple burst into a party and opened fire, killing 14 people in the worst terrorist atrocity on US soil since 9/11.
Yesterday’s Trump statement urged people to sign a counter petition entitled Don’t Ban Donald Trump from the UK, which last night had just under 40,000 signatures.
The counter petition will be debated with the original by MPs on 18 January.
Mr Trump’s views have already seen him stripped of his Robert Gordon University honorary degree and Nicola Sturgeon withdrew the tycoon’s membership of the GlobalScot network.
His views on Muslims entering America have made it increasingly unlikely that the Open Championship will return to Turnberry while he remains the owner of the famous seaside course.
Last night a Scottish Government spokeswoman said: “Mr Trump’s recent remarks have shown that he is no longer fit to be a business ambassador for Scotland and the First Minister has decided his membership of the respected Global-Scot business network should be withdrawn with immediate effect.”