Trump: May’s ‘soft’ Brexit plan would ‘kill’ any future US-UK trade deal
President Trump on Thursday said United Kingdom Prime Minister Theresa May’s “soft” Brexit plan would “kill” any future trade deal between the U.S. and U.K.
“If they do a deal like that, we would be dealing with the European Union instead of dealing with the U.K., so it will probably kill the deal,” Trump said in a wide-ranging interview with the conservative British newspaper paper, The Sun, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch, a close ally of the president’s. Murdoch also controls Fox News Network, the president’s favorite TV channel.
In an exclusive interview with the outlet, Trump also lambasted May’s Brexit proposals and claimed she ignored his advice on negotiations.
“I would have done it much differently,” Trump said of May’s Brexit plan. “I actually told Theresa May how to do it, but she didn’t listen to me.”
“She should negotiate the best way she knows how,” Trump continued. “But it is too bad what is going on.”
Trump, who has been a vocal supporter of Brexit, went on to call the state of Brexit negotiations “very unfortunate,” attacking May’s “soft” approach, which includes continued close trade and financial ties with the European Union (EU).
Trump and May met in England on Thursday to discuss a host of bilateral issues, including what a US-UK trade deal would look like following Britain’s eventual departure from the EU.
This is absolutely mad. The Sun has an exclusive interview with Trump who is dumping on Theresa May. pic.twitter.com/MHvNtQfHyS
— Mark Di Stefano (@MarkDiStef) July 12, 2018
Trump and May are scheduled to meet again Friday, followed by a joint press conference.
Trump’s comments come as May faces blowback among her own ranks over her approach to Brexit. Critics have slammed her for giving the EU what they perceive as too much power.
Brexit Secretary David Davis and Foreign Minister Boris Johnson resigned last week, each citing frustrations with May’s proposal to create a “UK-EU free trade area.”
Trump told The Sun that he thought Johnson would make a “great prime minister.”
Asked about Johnson’s hardline negotiating techniques, Trump said the former minister “was right.”
May, on Thursday, touted the economic relationship between the two countries, focusing on co-investment and British employers in the U.S.
She said Brexit creates an opportunity for a “free trade agreement that creates jobs and growth here in the UK and right across the United States,” CNN reported.
Trump expressed disappointment with Brexit’s progress during his trip to Brussels this week for the annual NATO summit.
“Maybe they’re taking a little bit of a different route,” he said ahead of his trip to the U.K.