Trump blasts May's Brexit plan, says it puts trade deal in doubt

Daniel Fowler
July 13, 2018

As Britain prepares to leave the European Union on March 29, 2019, supporters of Brexit have made much of the so-called special relationship with the United States and the benefits of forging closer trade ties with the world's biggest economy.

Mr. Trump said British voters didn't vote for the "soft" Brexit plan in their referendum to sever ties with the EU.

His highly controversial remarks came at the end of a day in which he had already waded deeply into the Brexit row over May's Brexit vision.

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May has a Brexit plan, but might not have enough votes to see it through parliament, Politico reported.

"If they do a deal like that, we would be dealing with the European Union instead of dealing with the United Kingdom, so it will probably kill the deal", he told the news outlet.

"If they do that, then their trade deal with the USA will probably not be made".

He told The Sun Mrs May's plan would affect trade "unfortunately in a negative way".

Director and chief executive Liz Cameron said: "We welcome the detail provided on the UK Government's approach to mobility, including the statement of intent to operate a UK-EU Youth Mobility Scheme and visa-free travel for tourism and short-term business activity".

The comments will plunge the transatlantic "special relationship" to new lows, making for extremely awkward talks with May when the two meet at her country retreat of Chequers later on Friday.

Addressing the 100-strong group the Prime Minister said there was an "unprecedented" opportunity to do a deal that boosted jobs and growth in both countries.

Trump and his wife Melania are due to meet the 92-year-old monarch at Windsor Castle on Friday and both the imposing setting and Elizabeth being one of the most admired women in the world is expected to temper the U.S. president's iconaclastic ways.

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Asked if he could become prime minister he added: "Well I am not pitting one against the other. I think they agree with me on immigration", he told reporters in Brussels. "I would actually say that she probably went the opposite way".

I was very saddened to see he was leaving government and I hope he goes back in at some point. And that is fine.

Mrs May faces a huge task trying to persuade European Union negotiators to accept that the proposals are viable, while also keeping her Conservative party and Parliament on side. "But it is too bad what is going on", the president said. "I think they like me in the UK". I get along with her very nicely.

He continued: "I think he has not been hospitable to a government that is very important".

Mr Trump's four-day visit will be met by protests and last night Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn criticised the government for welcoming the president with a "red carpet welcome".

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May and her husband Philip May greet US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump at Blenheim Palace on July 12, 2018 in Woodstock, England.

Adding to his extraordinary takedown of May, Trump praised Boris Johnson, who stepped down this week as foreign secretary over Brexit.

Good morning and welcome to our live coverage of today's politics news, which will be dominated today by Donald Trump's first official visit to the UK.

Some elements are likely to anger Brexit-backers, including Britain's willingness to pay the European Union for access to certain agencies and the suggestion some European Union citizens could continue to work in Britain visa-free.

"Maybe they're taking a little bit of a different route [on Brexit], so I don't know if that's what they voted for", he told a press conference after the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit in Brussels.

"I think it changed the fabric of Europe and, unless you act very quickly, it's never going to be what it was and I don't mean that in a positive way".

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