U.S. President Donald Trump blasted the European Union, disavowed modern feminism, and proclaimed his love for Britain and dedication to the special relationship in a wide-ranging ITV interview recorded in Davos.
President Trump told his interviewer, controversial journalist and former Celebrity Apprentice winner Piers Morgan, that he “had a lot of problems with the European Union”, and that these “may morph into something very big from a trade standpoint”.
Alluding to the bloc’s protectionist practices, to which Britain is currently party, having surrendered control of its trade policy to Brussels when it joined the EU/EEC in the 1970s, he explained: “We cannot get our product in. It’s very, very tough. And yet they send their product to us – no taxes, very little taxes, it’s very unfair … [T]he European Union has been very, very unfair to the United States, and I think it’ll turn out to be very much to their detriment.”
The United States is Britain’s single biggest trade partner, and if Britain is dragged into a trade dispute with America by Brussels it could prove very damaging.
On the other hand, the president is keen for a bilateral trade agreement with the United Kingdom once it is finally free to set its own trade policy, which could prove a huge boon to British exporters if their European rivals find themselves subject to tariffs — provided the British government seizes the opportunity, of course.
"Working on major Trade Deal with the United Kingdom," announces President Trump. "Very big & exciting. JOBS!" https://t.co/q5xTGOIivC
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) July 25, 2017
Britain’s ability to seize such an opportunity has been hampered by Prime Minister Theresa May’s concessionary approach to the Brexit talks, with the president gently criticising her decision to sign up to a two-year “transition period” in which Britain will remain subject to all the EU’s rules and regulations.
“So we are going to make a deal with the UK, that will be great,” he said.
“As you know, [we’re] somewhat restricted. Because of Brexit you have a two-year restriction. And when that restriction is up we’re going to be your great trading partner. It’s a tough restriction to have. You know for a couple of years, you have very strong lack of being able to do things.”
Trump on Appeaser Theresa’s Brexit Negotiations: ‘I Would Have Taken a Tougher Stand’ https://t.co/5jh1oU00qO
— Jack Montgomery ن (@JackBMontgomery) January 28, 2018
Trump indicated he would have been far tougher himself, telling Morgan: “I think I would have negotiated it differently. I would have had a different attitude … I would have said that the European Union is not cracked up to what it’s supposed to be, and I would have taken a tougher stand in getting out… I have a lot of problems with the European Union.”
One of the few major political figures to predict the outcome of the EU referendum correctly, the president reiterated his belief that the vote to Leave the European Union was largely a result of people’s unhappiness with the bloc’s role in facilitating uncontrolled mass migration.
“I know the British people and I understand the British people, and the British people wanted to have control over their country,” he said.
“And they don’t want to have people coming from all over the world into Britain and they don’t know anything about these people. And I said because of immigration, and to a certain extent because of trade, but mostly immigration, I said that Brexit is going to be a big upset and I was right.”
Commission: EU Too White, Mass Third World Migration Must Be ‘New Norm’ https://t.co/dSpA8FQcP0
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) December 18, 2017
The President said he was “a tremendous supporter” of the United Kingdom, and pledged “we will come to your defence if anything should happen”, before discussing his own British roots.
“You’re half-British, right?” asked Morgan.
“Well, my mother was born in Scotland, in the Hebrides.”
“That makes you half-British.”
“My mother was born in Stornoway. You know what they call that? ‘Serious Scotland’, right? That’s ‘Serious Scotland’. She was born in Stornoway.”
“Do you feel half-British?”
“I sort of do. I love the country.”
The president went on to discuss his Scottish mother’s great respect for the Royal Family, as he did while still president-elect.
President Trump has declared he is NOT a feminist.
He tells me: ‘No, I wouldn't say I'm a feminist. I mean, I think that would be, maybe, going too far. I'm for women, I'm for men, I’m for everyone.'
Full interview, Sunday, ITV, 10pm. pic.twitter.com/GCviovNb6o
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) January 27, 2018
One of the comments in the interview which has caused more upset among Britain’s left-liberal chattering classes was the president’s assertion that he would not say he was a feminist — although he was “for women, for men, for everyone”.
Polls suggest that President Trump is, in fact, in line with the great majority of the British public on this. Just 9 per cent of British women — and 7 per cent of Britons overall — said they would identify as ‘feminist’ in a 2016 survey by the Fawcett Society, although a big majority supported equal rights.
This suggests that, like President Trump, most Britons have come to associate feminism with the campus radicals and radical left-wingers which are its most prominent advocates in the modern era.