If Donald Trump Comes To Golf, Scotland Wants Britain To Pay His Greens Fees

Scotland is demanding money from the British government if Donald Trump decides to play golf there after he meets with Prime Minister Theresa May in London.

Security for the president in Scotland could cost an estimated $6.6 million, Bloomberg reports.

Trump is planning to travel to London July 13 after a NATO summit in Brussels. He’ll have the weekend free before he heads to Helsinki to see Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Scottish officials believe he’ll head to their country for the weekend to golf. Trump owns two controversial golf resorts in Scotland. He could dodge personal costs for a business trip by packaging visits to his resorts with the presidential itinerary.

He has mixed business and taxpayer costs before. In May, The Scotsman reported that the U.S. government paid $7,800 to the golf resort to cover expenses and security for unnamed VIP guests earlier this year.

While specifics are still up in the air, Scotland is preparing for a potential visit — and demanding money for it from the British government.

“Extensive operational planning is now underway, given the imminent timing,” Scotland’s new justice secretary, Humza Yousaf, wrote in a letter to the British home secretary, Bloomberg reported. “I am clear that any such costs should fall to the U.K. government as the host of the visit.”

Yousaf noted that the British government paid about $26 million toward security costs in 2005 when the Group of Eight summit was held in Gleneagles in Scotland.

But the British Home Office has said the money should be paid by Scotland, the BBC reported.

Trump isn’t popular in Scotland. The Scots say his resorts failed to deliver the jobs and taxes he promised and that the famous coastal dunes in Aberdeenshire were damaged by his golf resort there. His resort in Turnberry was recently lashed for paying its female employees significantly less than men; it also has four times as many men as women in executive spots, according to an official filing with local authorities, The Scotsman reported. 

Turnberry last year got a $147,000 tax break from Scottish taxpayers. But the government has since jettisoned the property from the program that was intended to give struggling companies financial help, the Sunday Herald reported. 

“It’s bad enough that he has a business presence in Scotland,” Green Party Parliament member Patrick Harvie told the newspaper after the decision was made. “It’s galling to learn that the public purse is giving him a helping hand.”

Trump’s Scottish golf resorts lost $23 million in 2016, double the losses of the previous year, The Associated Press has reported.

Scotland’s government stripped Trump of his business “ambassador” status after he called for a “complete shutdown of  Muslims” entering the U.S. during his presidential campaign.

Protests against Trump have already been organized for Glasgow and Edinburgh during the president’s visit to the United Kingdom, the BBC reported.

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/

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