Trump: May’s Brexit Plan ‘Will Probably Kill’ U.S. Trade Deal

WOODSTOCK, ENGLAND - JULY 12: Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May and her husband Philip May greet U.S. President Donald Trump, First Lady Melania Trump at Blenheim Palace on July 12, 2018 in Woodstock, England. Blenheim Palace is the birth place of the great wartime British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, of …
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President Donald J. Trump has said that the British government’s proposed soft Brexit plan “will probably kill” a bilateral trade deal with the U.S., and he criticised Prime Minister Theresa May for ignoring his advice on dealing with the European Union.

President Trump made the comments in an interview with British newspaper The Sun ahead of his visit to the UK and represent his strongest criticisms of May’s handling of Brexit after the Prime Minister unveiled a soft Brexit vision of future UK-EU relationships that would see Britain effectively tied to many of the bloc’s institutions.

“If they do a deal like that, we would be dealing with the European Union instead of dealing with the UK, so it will probably kill the deal,” President Trump told the tabloid.

“If they do that, then their trade deal with the US will probably not be made.”

The President then went on to explain that the Prime Minister’s White Paper proposal “will definitely affect trade with the United States, unfortunately in a negative way”.

“We have enough difficulty with the European Union,” he added.

“We are cracking down right now on the European Union because they have not treated the United States fairly on trading.

“No, if they do that I would say that that would probably end a major trade relationship with the United States.”

President Trump is due to meet with Mrs May Friday morning followed by a working lunch and joint press conference.

The comments in The Sun will come as a further blow to the Prime Minister — who voted to remain in the June 2016 EU referendum — after Boris Johnson and David Davis resigned from her cabinet as foreign secretary and Brexit secretary respectively, over their belief that her deal would give away too much control to the bloc.

The 100-page plus White Paper (a government draft proposal to be discussed before a Bill is formally presented to Parliament) was published in full on Thursday which Brexiteers criticised as “not what people voted for” and which “recreate the worst aspects of the EU British people voted to leave”.

Present Trump speculated at an impromptu NATO press conference Thursday whether Mrs May’s plans were what “they [the British] voted for”; should there be any question of the President’s meaning from those comments, President Trump told the tabloid ahead of his European trip: “The deal she is striking is a much ­different deal than the one the people voted on.

“It was not the deal that was in the referendum. I have just been hearing this over the last three days. I know they have had a lot of resignations. So a lot of people don’t like it.”

President Trump also criticised Mrs May for failing to heed his advice on how to deal with the EU — which coming from a billionaire businessman and property mogul was likely very sound. He said she ignored his advice and went “the opposite way”, adding that he believed the results have been “very unfortunate”.

Former foreign secretary Boris Johnson criticised May’s negotiating with the EU in June, remarking that had President Trump been in charge of dealing with the bloc he would have gone “in bloody hard”.

When these comments were presented to President Trump, he told The Sun, “He is right.”

He added: “I would have done it much differently. I actually told Theresa May how to do it but she didn’t agree, she didn’t listen to me.

“[Mrs May] wanted to go a different route.

“I would actually say that she probably went the opposite way. And that is fine.

“She should negotiate the best way she knows how. But it is too bad what is going on.”

When asked if that meants he was prepared to walk away from the negotiating table, he replied: “Oh, absolutely. I think what is going on is very unfortunate. Too long.

“You know, deals that take too long are never good ones. When a deal takes so long, they never work out very well.”

Despite President Trump’s criticisms of May’s performance, he had warm words for the Prime Minister saying she is “a very good person” and denied he ever called her a “bossy schoolteacher” or said she bored him.

“That is fake news. I think she is a nice person. I get along with her very nicely. The Washington Post is totally fake. They are just a lobbyist for Amazon.”

After bilateral meetings with Prime Minister May, President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump head to Windsor Castle for tea with Queen Elizabeth II. The President and First Lady will then fly to Glasgow and travel on to President Trump’s golf course in Turnberry.

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