LONDON- Just hours before he was due to meet Britain’s prime minister Theresa May, US president Donald Trump said that the free trade deal with Britain might be impossible if London went ahead with May’s proposals for post-Brexit ties with the European Union, in damaging remarks that could widen domestic criticism of her plans.
Trump did a interview with Sun newspaper, published late on Thursday, where he said that a business-friendly Brexit would leave it too close to the EU to allow a new trans-Atlantic trade deal to be done.
But as May was praising the friendship Britain has with the United States and glossing over the Trumps past remarks that the United Kingdom was “hot spot” and in turmoil after Brexit, Trump was again criticizing her policies.
Referring to May’s Brexit proposals, Trump told the Sun, Britain’s top-selling newspaper, “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.”
Trump criticized May for ignoring his advice on Brexit and not making a credible threat to walk away from talks.
“I would have done it much differently,” he told the Sun, which urged its readers to back Brexit before a referendum in June 2016. “I actually told Theresa May how to do it, but she didn’t listen to me.”
Trump even said that former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson who resigned earlier this week, “would be a great Prime Minister.”
After the story was published, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said the president, “likes and respects Prime Minister May very much,” adding that he said in the interview she “is a very good person,” and that he “never said anything bad about her.”
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