“Biggest boost in years”: Independence supporters welcome Trump’s anti-indy comments

Chris McQuade

Scottish independence recieves help from an unlikely source

A LEADING independence campaigner has welcomed an intervention into Scotland’s constitutional debate by US President Donald Trump, saying his criticism of independence was the movement’s “biggest boost” in years.

Radical Independence Campaign (RIC) co-founder Jonathon Shafi said President Donald Trump has handed the biggest boost ‘in years’ to independence supporters.

Trump criticised plans for a second referendum, claiming the nation went through “hell” during the 2014 push for independence.

Despite First Minister Nicola Sturgeon successfully securing a mandate from the Scottish Parliament in March to hold another referendum in the wake of the 2016 Brexit vote, Trump has gone on record to view his objection to any future vote.

“It’s probably the most helpful thing for the independence cause at this present moment.” Jonathon Shafi

Shafi said: “It’s probably the most helpful thing for the independence cause at this present moment.

“Donald Trump, in one fell swoop, has just handed independence supporters the biggest boost they’ve had in several years.”

Shafi, who helped organise demonstrations against Trump earlier in the year, has been a vocal opposition to the president since his inauguration.

He said: “Opposition to Donald Trump in Scotland has been well known, from resistance to his golf courses in Aberdeen, to mass demonstrations against his Muslim ban which took place earlier in the year.

“And we will be ready to organise protests again should he come to Scotland.

“Anything Donald Trump opposes is probably a good idea.”

President Trump claimed plans for a second vote would be “terrible” and described how he plans be “very involved” with the UK in terms of trade.

He said: “I mean, you don’t hear the word Britain anymore. It’s very interesting. It’s like, nope.”

Comedian and anti-Trump protester Janey Godley, who famously held up a “Trump is a cunt” sign at Trump’s visit to one of his Scottish Golf resorts during his presidential campaign last year, said: “I think Trump would do better to speak through his communications officer who this week is Scott Baio and next week could be the guy who washes his hairpiece.”

The comments come after UK international trade secretary Liam Fox met with US counterpart Robert Lightizer for trade negotiations in Washington as the UK Government look for potential agreements after Brexit next year.

Trump also said he has a “very good relationship” with Prime Minister Theresa May when speaking to the Wall Street Journal.

“I mean, you don’t hear the word Britain anymore. It’s very interesting. It’s like, nope.” President Trump

Stressing that Scotland would no longer be able to host the British Open golf championship in the event of an independence vote, he said: “One little thing, what would they do with the British Open if they ever got out? They’d no longer have the British Open.

“Scotland. Keep it in Scotland,” he added.

May has repeatedly said “now is not the time” for a second vote on independence as the country careers towards Brexit.

MSPs voted 69-59 in favour of a second referendum after the SNP, backed by the Scottish Green Party, held a vote in March.

May has worked as a key ally to Trump since his election in 2016. The UK’s international isolation following Brexit means it will be eager to form closer ties with non-EU governments.

Picture courtesy of Gage Skidmore

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