BLENHEIM PALACE, England (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump stated a free commerce take care of Britain may be unattainable if London went forward with Prime Minister Theresa May’s proposals for post-Brexit ties with the European Union, in damaging remarks that might widen home criticism of her plans.
In an interview with Britain’s Sun newspaper printed late on Thursday, Trump stated May’s plans for a business-friendly Brexit would go away it too near the EU to permit a brand new trans-Atlantic commerce deal to be struck.
Just hours earlier at a lavish dinner to mark Trump’s first go to to Britain as president, May made a direct pitch for a take care of Washington. She praised the friendship between the 2 allies, glossing over Trump’s earlier remarks that Britain was a “hot spot” in turmoil over Brexit.
Referring to May’s Brexit proposals, Trump instructed 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 chastised May for ignoring his recommendation on Brexit and never making a reputable menace to stroll away from talks.
“I would have done it much differently,” he instructed the Sun, which urged its readers to again Brexit earlier than a referendum in June 2016. “I actually told Theresa May how to do it, but she didn’t listen to me.”
His feedback got here on the finish of a tumultuous few days for May, throughout which two senior ministers resigned in protest at her plans for commerce with the EU after Britain leaves the bloc subsequent March.
Trump stated that one in every of them, former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, “would be a great Prime Minister.”
After the story was printed, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders stated the president “likes and respects Prime Minister May very much,” including that he stated within the interview she “is a very good person,” and that he “never said anything bad about her.”
Trump is because of have lunch with May on Friday. Her workplace had no speedy response to his remarks, past referring again to her speech.
May has beforehand stated she doesn’t consider her Brexit plans ought to rule out a commerce take care of the United States.
Trump has often angered British politicians. Late final yr, May criticised him for retweeting a message by a member of a British far-right group and the speaker of Britain’s parliament has stated Trump wouldn’t be welcome to handle it.
May’s critics have stated, nonetheless, that she reins in criticism of Trump due to the robust need of many in her Conservative Party to succeed in a commerce take care of the United States after Brexit.
May’s “business-friendly” Brexit plan would hold Britain in a free commerce zone for items with the EU however imply it needed to settle for some EU guidelines. It was agreed by her Cabinet solely final Friday after two years of wrangling since Britons voted to depart the bloc within the referendum.
Some Brexit supporters have forged May’s Brexit plan as a betrayal, together with lawmakers in her personal deeply divided get together who have warned of a management problem.
‘DEAREST OF FRIENDS’
Before the Sun interview was printed, May invoked Winston Churchill as she addressed Trump and business leaders at a black-tie dinner at Blenheim Palace, the grand 18th century nation home that was the birthplace of the British World War Two chief.
“Mr. President, Sir Winston Churchill once said that ‘to have the United States at our side was, to me, the greatest joy’,” May instructed Trump, based on a textual content of her speech.
“The spirit of friendship and cooperation between our countries, our leaders and our people, that most special of relationships, has a long and proud history,” she stated, including that the United States was “not just the closest of allies but the dearest of friends”.
Outside the mansion, close to Oxford to the northwest of London, a few thousand demonstrators lined the highway and booed Trump’s arrival. It was one in every of over 100 protests police anticipated throughout Trump’s four-day journey.
“I think it’s a travesty of British values. How can we roll out the red carpet for someone who stands for everything we stand against?” stated tutorial Emily Jones, 40, a type of protesting exterior Blenheim Palace.
While Trump’s journey was not the complete state go to he was initially promised, he was heralded by army bands on his arrival within the nation and at Blenheim, and he’s scheduled on Friday to have tea with Queen Elizabeth.
He is then as a consequence of spend two days at golf programs he owns in Scotland earlier than travelling to fulfill Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The Sun stated its interview with Trump was performed in Brussels, the place the NATO summit was held earlier within the week. Trump attended the summit, the place he provoked a disaster session to drive allies to lift their defence spending.
Liam Fox, Britain’s commerce minister, tweeted after the Sun interview was printed that it was terrific to listen to Trump “talk so positively about UK & US Trade tonight at Blenheim Palace”.
Reporting by Jeff Mason and Michael Holden; Additional reporting by Elizabeth Piper, Alistair Smout, David Milliken, Jo Heywood and Isabel Woodford; Writing by Michael Holden; Editing by Guy Faulconbridge, Janet Lawrence, David Stamp, Nick Tattersall, Toni Reinhold and Peter Cooney