UK to cover $6.6 million policing costs if Trump visits Scotland for golfing trip

  • President Trump arrives for his first official U.K. visit next week.
  • He is expected to spend the weekend golfing at one of his two Scottish courses.
  • His time spent in Scotland is expected to cost as much as $6.6 million in security costs.
Donald Trump plays a round of golf in Balmedie, Scotland. (File photo).
Getty Images
Donald Trump plays a round of golf in Balmedie, Scotland. (File photo).

Donald Trump is expected to play golf at one of his courses in Scotland next week, a move that could cost the British taxpayer as much as £5 million ($6.6 million).

The U.S. president makes his first official visit to the U.K. on July 13 when it is expected he will meet Queen Elizabeth II and Prime Minister Theresa May. It is also reported that Trump will dine with business leaders at Blenheim Palace, the former home of Winston Churchill.

Following those official duties, Trump is tipped to travel north of the border for the weekend to play on one of two golf courses that he owns in Scotland. He is not expected to carry out any official business during the weekend.

Police Scotland has estimated that security for Trump’s golfing visit could cost around £5 million and require more than 5,000 officers. After a Scottish lawmaker raised the question of who would cover the cost, Downing Street said it would pick up the tab.

Liz Truss, the U.K. treasury secretary, confirmed the arrangement to the Scottish government via an official letter that she then republished on Twitter.

In the letter, Truss said the U.K. government would “provide ring-fenced of up to £5 million to cover the costs incurred by Police Scotland should a visit by the president be confirmed.”

U.S. President Donald Trump shake hands with Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May during the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland January 25, 2018.
Carlos Barria | Reuters
U.S. President Donald Trump shake hands with Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May during the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland January 25, 2018.

Demonstrations against Trump’s visit are expected in cities across the U.K. with at least two set for Scotland — one in Glasgow on July 13 and another in Edinburgh the following day.

Trump has a strong family connection to Scotland as his mother, Mary Anne Macleod Trump, was born on the Isle of Lewis in 1912.

His personal popularity in his mother’s country was damaged as far back as 2006 when he purchased a 1,400-acre coastal plot north of Aberdeen and turned it into a golf resort.

The development was initially rejected by local politicians, but the central Scottish government, keen on the promise of jobs, overturned the initial findings to give the project a green light.

The development, now the Trump International Golf Links, has been mired in further controversy as locals claimed they were threatened with eviction and environmentalists warned of damage to 4,000-year-old sand dunes.

Trump later bought the world famous Turnberry resort which has regularly been used for the Open Championship golf tournament.