Trump backtracks over criticism of May Brexit plan

Lester Mason
July 14, 2018

"I actually told Theresa May how to do it but she didn't agree, she didn't listen to me", Trump added.

He said that May's new, softer approach to Brexit - which would leave Britain sticking to a "common rulebook" with Brussels on goods - would kill off the chances of a much sought-after U.S. -U.K. trade deal.

In a sometimes rambling performance following talks with May at her country retreat of Chequers, the U.S. president dismissed comments made in an interview with the Sun that was published on Thursday night.

May's formal proposals were published on Thursday, but hours later the Sun published an interview with Trump where he appeared to side with the prime minister's critics. "Whatever you're gonna do is OK with us, just make sure we can trade with you, that's all that matters".

But it also says that because of the deep cross-Channel links, "equivalence" is not good enough either.

Prime Minister Theresa May's government is trying to satisfy Britons who voted for their country to leave the bloc, but to set an independent course without hobbling businesses, security agencies and other sectors that are closely entwined with the EU.

"Unfortunately, there was a story that was done which was generally fine but it didn't put in what I said about the Prime Minister and I said a tremendous thing", he said.

The plan was agreed by Prime Minister Theresa May's cabinet last week - only for two top ministers to quit in protest at its provisions to adopt European Union rules on trade in goods.

Downing Street might have been prepared for Donald Trump to cause controversy on his weekend visit, but they probably weren't expecting him to take a torch to the Special Relationship.

Asked if the row jeopardises that bond, he said: "It takes two to tango, and I'm not tweeting President Trump or saying beastly things about him". The U.S. can not negotiate a trade deal with the United Kingdom until that date Theresa May cited, which is in 2019.

He paid a brief visit to the USA ambassador's central London residence before taking a helicopter to Blenheim Palace ― the monumental house where Winston Churchill was born― for a lavish dinner event with British Prime Minister Theresa May.

Mr Varadkar said the European Union, in its conclusions to its Brussels summit two weeks ago, called on member states to step up their preparations for the possibility of a no-deal Brexit.

During the hour-long press conference, Trump went out of his way to praise May, and admitted he had apologised to her for The Sun's front page today.

After the diplomatic explosion of the overnight interview, May and Trump sought to play up their closeness, referring to each other by their first names.

After leaving Chequers, Trump was scheduled to have tea later with Queen Elizabeth at Windsor Castle, where her grandson Prince Harry married USA actress Meghan Markle in May before flying to one of his golf courses in Scotland.

Trump's rebuke of May came even as the United Kingdom prime minister offered her support for Trump's controversial upcoming summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Donald Trump has tried to backtrack on his criticism of Theresa May's Brexit plans - but has instead confirmed the fears of many Tory MPs over the policy. "He's been very nice to me".

London Mayor Sadiq Kahn, who gave the go-ahead to fly a giant baby Trump balloon in the city, has defended the protesters.

During his visit, Mr. Trump managed to avoid thousands of protesters in London, Scotland and around the country.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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