It wasn’t even close
Donald Trump and his £750 million golf course have been slammed by the UK Supreme Court this morning.
The controversial Republican billionaire — who last week called for all Muslims to be banned from the US — has had a long-running squabble with the Scottish government over its 2011 decision to build an 11 turbine strong wind farm off the coast of Aberdeenshire.
The farm is set to power 68,000 UK homes, but Trump is more concerned that the turbines might spoil the view from his multi-million pound Menie Golf Course, located 3.5km away from the proposed wind farm plot.
Trump International Golf Club sought to judicially challenge the minister’s decision. His lawyers, John Campbell QC and James Findlay QC — who were instructed by Scottish law firm Balfour & Manson — argued that the ministers had no power under the Electricity Act 1989 to consent to the windfarm application, and that the decision was therefore unlawful.
The US presidential hopeful has already lost out in his two previous challenges in the Scottish courts. He took a particular pounding in the Court of Session, where the judges said of Trump’s case:
That argument, in my opinion, is fallacious.
Now he’s scored a hatrick.
The Supreme Court — made up of Lords Neuberger, Mance, Reed, Carnwath and Hodge — was having none of Trump’s arguments, and took him down on all of his points. The appeal was unanimously dismissed.
The Trump Organisation has described the verdict as “extremely unfortunate” for Aberdeen residents, and anyone else who cares about Scotland’s economic future.
But the general consensus is that the court was right to take down the hugely unpopular politician.
Former Scottish first minister Alex Salmond was happy to point the finger at the American billionaire, accusing him of at best postponing, and at worst jeopardising, a £200-million investment in the Scottish economy. Describing Trump as “three times a loser”, he added:
Given his treatment of Scotland, Scots American are likely to join the ever growing list of people alienated by Trump.
Gary McGovern, energy and planning partner at Pinsent Masons, even quipped to The Telegraph that:
Donald Trump will be hoping he has more success at the US ballot box than he does in the courts.
For America’s sake, we’re hoping that’s not the case…