CHEQUERS, England (Reuters) – President Donald Trump stated on Friday he had a really sturdy relationship with British Prime Minister Theresa May, having earlier scorned her Brexit technique which he stated had most likely killed off hope for a future U.S.-British commerce deal.
In an interview printed simply hours earlier than he was as a consequence of have lunch with May and tea with Queen Elizabeth on Friday, Trump chided the “very unfortunate” outcomes of the prime minister’s technique for negotiating Britain’s departure from the European Union.
“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 instructed the Rupert Murdoch-owned Sun newspaper.
“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.”
Trump additionally heaped reward on Boris Johnson, who resigned as international secretary this week together with Brexit Secretary David Davis in protest at May’s technique. Johnson, the president stated, “would be a great prime minister”.
No sitting U.S. president has ever made such biting public criticism of a British prime minister whereas visiting, and his feedback undermined May in her get together, her nation and overseas.
But, because the leaders met for talks at May’s official nation residence Chequers, each tried to minimize the president’s intervention into the Brexit debate.
“We really have a very good relationship,” Trump stated. “Today we are talking trade and we are talking military.”
Asked by a U.S. reporter if he regretted his feedback to the Sun, Trump seemed away and shook his head.
“We’ve got a lot to discuss,” May stated, including they’d speak in regards to the British-U.S. “special relationship” and alternatives for a commerce deal.
Sterling fell half a % to a 1 1/2-week low of $1.3131, partly on Trump’s feedback within the newspaper interview.
“Where are your manners, Mr President?” requested Sam Gyimah, a junior minister in May’s government.
As Britain prepares to depart the EU on March 29, 2019, supporters of Brexit have made a lot of the so-called particular relationship with the United States and the advantages of forging nearer commerce ties with the world’s largest financial system.
Many have solid May’s plan as a betrayal, together with lawmakers in her deeply divided Conservative Party, who have warned that she would possibly face a management problem.
Jacob Rees-Mogg – a number one Conservative Brexiteer and thought of a possible various get together chief by some – stated it was completely cheap for Trump to make such feedback, including that May now had a possibility to vary her thoughts on her Brexit plan.
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”.
For supporters, Trump and Brexit supply the prospect of breaking free from what they see as out of date establishments and guidelines. But for a lot of British diplomats, Brexit marks the collapse of a 70-year technique of attempting to stability European integration with a U.S. alliance based mostly on blood, commerce and intelligence sharing.
Trump has often angered British politicians. Late final 12 months, May criticized him for retweeting a message by a member of a British far-right group, and the speaker of parliament has stated Trump wouldn’t be welcome to handle the chamber.
More than 64,000 folks have signed as much as reveal in London in opposition to Trump’s go to, considered one of greater than 100 protests anticipated throughout his four-day go to. On Friday, protesters flew a blimp depicting the U.S. president as an orange, snarling child exterior the British parliament.
“I guess when they put out blimps to make me feel unwelcome, no reason for me to go to London,” Trump instructed the Sun.
Protester Nicola Tanner stated it was nice that the blimp had “touched a nerve” with the president. “It’s embarrassing how much our government is falling over themselves to try to appease someone who has no interest in any sort of give-and-take in the UK-U.S. relationship at all,” stated the 33-year-old public official from Bristol, southwest England.
On Thursday, May invoked World War Two chief Winston Churchill as she addressed Trump and business leaders at a dinner at Blenheim Palace, the 18th century nation home the place Churchill was born.
“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, in line with 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”.
While Trump’s journey was not a full state go to, he has been given pink carpet treatment together with marching navy bands. He is scheduled to have tea with Queen Elizabeth at Windsor Castle the place her grandson Prince Harry married U.S. actress Meghan Markle in May.
Writing by Guy Faulconbridge and Michael Holden, enhancing by Larry King, Kevin Liffey and David Stamp