Donald Trump, in a closely watched visit to Scotland on Friday, hailed Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, drawing parallels to the anger driving his own presidential campaign.
“I love to see people take their country back,” he said at a news conference at one of his golf courses in Scotland. “And that’s really what’s happening in the United States” and other parts of the world.
The campaign leading to Thursday’s stunning vote for Britain to leave the European Union shared some of the nationalist, populist themes driving Trump’s campaign, including a wariness of immigration, concern about borders and skepticism of the value of multinational organizations.
“I think there are great similarities between happened here and my campaign,” he said. “People want to see borders. They don’t necessarily want people pouring into their country that they don’t know who they are and where they come from.”
Critics of the move, which one narrowly late Thursday say that xenophobia, particularly against immigrants to Europe, was the driving force in the Brexit vote. The European Union, particularly countries like Germany and Switzerland have had more open policies toward immigrants, while in the U.K., Italy and France frustration has grown among a politically strengthening right wing over immigration, which many blame for terrorist acts throughout Europe.
Trump, whose visit to Scotland is his first international trip since becoming the prospective Republican nominee, predicted that other nations will follow Britain’s lead.
“This will not be the last,” he said earlier at a ceremony to mark the reopening of a golf resort he owns on Scotland’s west coast.
Trump said this week that he hadn’t closely followed the so-called Brexit campaign but he supported the “Leave” movement.
At the news conference, he described British Prime Minister David Cameron as “a good man” who “didn’t get the mood of his country right.”
Cameron wanted Britain to stay in the EU and announced Friday that he would step down.
Trump suggested that President Barack Obama, who expressed hopes that Britain would stay in the EU, was partially responsible for the outcome, claiming that some votes were cast to spite him.
“If he had said no to it, I think the vote might have been different. He’s constantly dictating what the world should do,” he said.
Trump also criticized his likely general election foe, Hillary Clinton who sided with Obama, for “misreading” the situation. Clinton issued a statement saying the economic uncertainty sparked by the vote “underscores the need for calm, steady, experienced leadership in the White House.”