Republican candidate Donald Trump, shown here June 11 in Pittsburgh, said Friday he supports British voters who opted to leave the European Union, largely over economic concerns related to open immigration. Photo by Archie Carpenter/UPI | License Photo
TURNBERRY, Scotland, June 24 (UPI) -- Speaking in Scotland, presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump hailed Britain's historic vote to leave the European Union.
His rival, Hillary Clinton, who opposed the so-called "Brexit," sought to calm nervous financial markets and said a president's first job should be to limit the economic impact on Americans.
Trump said Britons, who stunned Europe and business leaders around the world by becoming the first country to leave the EU since its founding, have moved to "[take] their country back."
Some of the themes of Britain's "leave" campaign are similar to those of Trump's presidential bid, most notably immigration. While Trump has decried illegal immigration, saying America is losing its national identity by allowing the flow of illegal immigrants over the Mexican border, Britain's membership in the EU has made immigration from other EU nations expressly legal.
Officials said more than 330,000 immigrants, most from other EU countries, moved to Britain last year, bringing mixed results, including increased tax receipts for the government and an influx of new workers and consumers, but also a strain on social services, education and housing.
"They're angry over borders. They're angry over people coming into the country and taking over, and nobody even knows who they are. They're angry about many, many things," Trump said. "Basically they took their country back and that's a great thing."
Trump arrived in Turnberry, Scotland early Friday for a two-day business trip to promote his golf courses there.
Clinton, who like President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron, opposed a British exit from the EU, said she "respects" the will of the British people and will work to limit the economic effects of the vote in the United States.
"This time of uncertainty only underscores the need for calm, steady, experienced leadership in the White House to protect Americans' pocketbooks and livelihoods, to support our friends and allies, to stand up to our adversaries, and to defend our interests," Clinton said in a statement posted Friday morning on Twitter.
Her primary opponent, Sen. Bernie Sanders, said he was very worried about "the breaking down of international cooperation."
However, Sanders also said the forces of the global economy have upset people in many countries, not just the United States, which explained why so many Britons voted to leave the EU and go it alone.
"I think what this vote is about is an indication that the global economy is not working for everybody," he said. "It's not working in the United States for everybody and it's not working in the UK for everybody."