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Britons 'took their country back' in Brexit vote: Trump

CNBC with Reuters
Britons 'took their country back' in Brexit vote: Trump

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump said that Britons had taken back control of their country on Friday, after they voted to leave the European Union (EU) in a referendum.

Trump arrived in Scotland -- whose citizens took part in the referendum -- on Friday morning for the opening of his Trump Turnberry luxury golfing resort.

In a wide ranging press conference the tycoon said that, in the wake of the referendum, the break-up of the EU looked like it was "on its way, and we'll see what happens."

Trump also commented on President Barack Obama's warning in April that the U.K. would find itself at the back of the queue in trade talks if it left the EU.

"President Obama did say, I guess, that they should move to the back of the line," he said.

"That wouldn't happen with me: the UK has been such a great ally for so long, they'll always be at the front of the line, they've been amazing allies in good times and in bad times."

On Thursday, the U.K. voted to leave the European Union by 51.9 percent to 48.1 percent in one of the most significant referendums in generations. The result stunned global financial markets, which had priced in a victory for the "remain" vote.

Earlier on Friday, Trump Tweeted: "Just arrived in Scotland. Place is going wild over the vote. They took their country back, just like we will take America back. No games!"

Although Britons overall voted to leave the EU, Trump's comments seemed to jar with the mood of some voters in Scotland, where 62 percent said they wanted to remain part of the EU, according to Reuters.

Trump spoke to reporters on arriving in Scotland in his helicopter, according to media reports. "People are angry; all over the world, they're angry," Reuters reported the businessman as saying.

"They're angry over borders; they're angry over people coming into the country and taking over. Nobody even knows who they are. They're angry about many, many things," he added.

When asked if he was referring to U.S. or U.K. voters, Trump said there were "plenty of other places. This will not be the last."

In March, Trump – whose mother was born in Scotland – told U.K. TV show "Good Morning Britain" that he thought Britain would separate from the EU. "I said this was going to happen and I think that it's a great thing," he told reporters on Friday, according to media reports.

In a Facebook statement released on Friday morning, Trump said that the British people had "exercised the sacred right of all free peoples."

"A Trump Administration pledges to strengthen our ties with a free and independent Britain, deepening our bonds in commerce, culture and mutual defense," the statement went on to add. "The whole world is more peaceful and stable when our two countries – and our two peoples – are united together, as they will be under a Trump Administration."

Trump's Scottish resort is on the Ayrshire coast and is home to the Ailsa golf course, which its website describes as having "a stretch of coastal golf that is unrivaled throughout the world."

On Friday, U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron – who had supported the "remain" campaign – resigned. In a statement outside Number 10 Downing Street Cameron said, "I do not think it would be right for me to try to be the captain that steers our country to its next destination."

European equity markets plunged after the referendum's result, with British lenders sinking more than 30 percent, dragging down their European counterparts.

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