Theresa May’s exit plan for the European Union, which provides for the maintenance of close trade ties with the bloc, will probably “kill” any prospect of a trade deal with the United States, said Donald Trump in an interview granted to the Sun newspaper.
“If they reach an agreement like this, we will deal with the European Union rather than with the United Kingdom, which will probably kill the agreement,” said the president of the United States, according to excerpts of the interview broadcast before its publication.
Mr Trump said that the British Prime Minister ignored his advice on how to leave the European Union. “I would have done it very differently,” he said. “I told Theresa May how to do it, but she did not listen to me.”
These comments form the turbulent backdrop to Mr Trump’s visit to the UK, which comes just days after resignations, on Monday, of Brexit Minister David Davis and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, in disagreement with the government’s white paper on exiting the European Union.
Mr Trump also said the Boris Johnson “would make a good prime minister” adding that “he has what it takes” and that he hopes Johnson will return to government. But the US president says he does not want to increase tensions between Theresa May and her former minister.
Donald Trump had already criticised the Prime Minister’s Brexit strategy at a NATO summit in Brussels on Thursday.