Presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump has said Britain would not be at the back of the queue for a trade deal with the US if it voted to leave the European Union.
His comments contradict what US President Barack Obama said last month when he argued for Britain remaining in the EU at a June 23 referendum.
Trump’s remarks came in an interview on ITV television which is set to be broadcast on Monday. An extract was shown by the channel on Sunday.
The property tycoon has already said that he personally feels Britain would be better off outside the EU.
Asked if Britain would be at the front of the queue for a trade deal post-Brexit if he became president, Trump said: “I don’t want to say front or anything else.
“I mean, I’m going to treat everybody fairly but it wouldn’t make any difference to me whether they were in the EU or not.”
He added: “You’d certainly not be back of the queue, that I can tell you.”
Standing alongside Prime Minister David Cameron at a press conference in London last month, Obama said Britain was “at its best when it is helping to lead a strong Europe”.
Asked what would happen if Britain did vote to leave, Obama said that while it could seal a trade deal with the United States, “it’s not going to happen any time soon”.
“The UK’s going to be at the back of the queue,” the president added.
Opinion polls indicate that the “Remain” and “Leave” camps are at level pegging ahead of the vote.