POLICE Scotland has “arrangements” in place to deal with the fall-out from any future visit by Donald Trump, it has emerged.
It comes after reports suggested the US president is expected to visit Scotland during his trip to the UK this summer.
Scottish community safety minister Annabelle Ewing confirmed preparations were underway, but said she had not been made aware of any visit.
She said: “I should make it clear that, at this time, the UK Government does not advise the Scottish Government of any proposed visit to Scotland. However, we remain in contact regarding the development of the itinerary for the president’s visit.
“There is no law in Scotland that stops people from protesting peacefully. Police Scotland has confirmed that arrangements are in place to police any visit in a way that maintains the public’s right to protest peacefully while enforcing existing laws as necessary.
“Scotland has deep and long-standing ties of family, friendship and Business with the United States, which will endure. However, we will not compromise our fundamental values of equality, diversity and human rights.
“In whichever part of the UK the proposed presidential visit takes place, we expect those values to be made clear.”
Mr Trump is expected to arrive in the UK on July 13, but the full itinerary for his trip is not yet known.
However, there is widespread speculation the former tycoon – who owns golf resorts in Aberdeenshire and at Turnberry in Ayrshire – will make a visit north of the border.
Right-wing supporters in Scotland have urged the president, whose mother was born on the Isle of Lewis, to ditch London in favour of his “ancestral home”.
And Mr Trump previously spoke of his regret at not being able to visit Scotland since becoming US president, describing it as a “very special place”.
Ms Ewing was responding to a question from Green MSP Patrick Harvie, who insisted the right to protest should not be restricted during any visit.
He said: “Whether Trump’s visit to the UK includes a stop in Scotland or not, a great many people in Scotland will want to ensure that the world sees that we stand alongside our friends in America who are marginalised and threatened by the Trump regime and will wish to express visibly our revulsion at the racism, misogyny, climate change denial and litany of lies for which President Trump is responsible.”
Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard previously warned his party would help lead “mass protest” against Mr Trump.
Source : HeraldScotland