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‘I gave the Prime Minister my ideas of how to negotiate it, she didn’t listen’: Trump taunts Theresa May over Brexit just hours before crucial Commons vote – and says he’s ‘surprised to see how badly it’s all gone’
US President Donald Trump has delivered his verdict on the way Brexit is going.
He opposed a second Brexit referendum – saying it would “unfair”.
He said Brexit was a “complex” issue, but said he was “surprised” by how bad Brexit negotiations have gone.
“I’m surprised at how badly it has all gone from a standpoint of negotiations but I gave the Prime Minister (Theresa May) my ideas of how to negotiate it, she didn’t listen to that and that’s fine but it could have been negotiated in a different manner.
And the US President suggested that the UK might have been better off taking his advice, as he said Prime Minister Theresa May “did not listen” to his suggestions on how to negotiate Brexit.
Mr Trump was speaking in the Oval Office after greeting Irish premier Leo Varadkar.
He said: “It’s a very complex thing right now, it’s tearing a country apart, it’s actually tearing a lot of countries apart and it’s a shame it has to be that way but I think we will stay right in our lane.”
“The EU has been very tough to deal with and frankly it’s been very one-sided for many years so we are changing that around.”
Asked if he thinks the Brexit deadline should be extended, Mr Trump said: “I think they are probably going to have to do something because right now they are in the midst of a very short period of time, at the end of the month and they are not going to be able to do that.
“We can do a very big trade deal with the UK. we are also re-negotiating our trade deal with the European groups and literally individual nations.”
The amendment, tabled by The Independent Group’s Sarah Wollaston, will be voted on tonight during a debate on whether to seek a delay to Brexit.
It orders Theresa May to seek to delay Brexit “for the purposes of legislating for and conducting a public vote in which the people of the United Kingdom may give their consent” for either leaving the EU on the terms of a deal agreed by Parliament or remaining in the bloc.
LONDON (Reuters) – The parliament will vote on Wednesday on whether to leave the European Union in 16 days without an agreement as the government said it would eliminate import tariffs on a wide range of goods in a no-deal Brexit scenario.
British lawmakers on Tuesday handed Prime Minister Theresa May a second humiliating defeat on the Brexit plan she had agreed with the EU, plunging the country deeper into political crisis.
The turmoil leaves the world’s fifth largest economy facing a range of scenarios – it could leave without a transition deal; delay the March 29 divorce date enshrined in law; May could hold a snap election or try a third time to get her deal passed; or Britain could hold another Brexit referendum.
On Wednesday, parliament is expected to reject a no-deal Brexit in a vote at 1900 GMT, although this will have no legal force. On Thursday, it will then vote on whether to ask the EU for a delay to Brexit, something to which all the bloc’s other 27 members must agree.
EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said the bloc would need to know why Britain wanted to extend talks and it was up to London to find a way out of the deadlock.
“If the UK still wants to leave the EU in an orderly manner, this treaty is – and will remain – the only treaty possible,” Barnier told the European Parliament in Strasbourg.
Britain’s Parliament delivered a crushing defeat to Prime Minister Theresa May’s European Union divorce deal Tuesday, plunging the Brexit process into chaos just 17 days before the UK is due to leave the bloc.
Lawmakers rejected the deal 391-242, ignoring May’s entreaties to back the agreement and end the political chaos and economic uncertainty that Brexit has unleashed.
It was a narrower outcome than the 230-vote margin of defeat for the agreement in January, before May secured changes from the bloc — but not by much.
With EU leaders warning there would be no more changes or negotiations, and with less than three weeks to go until the UK is due to leave, British lawmakers now face a stark choice between leaving the EU without an agreement to smooth the way, or delaying the country’s withdrawal past the scheduled March 29 departure date.
May — her voice ragged after days of frantic shuttle diplomacy to secure last-minute changes to the deal — had earlier told the House of Commons, “this is the moment and this is the time — time for us to come together, back this motion and get the deal done.”
“If this deal is not passed, then Brexit could be lost,” May said.
But prominent Brexit supporters whose support May needs were unconvinced. Hard-core Brexit supporters in May’s Conservative Party and the prime minister’s allies in Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party both said they could not support the deal, which Parliament rejected by an overwhelming margin in January.
The DUP, which props up May’s minority government, said “sufficient progress has not been achieved” on the key issue of the Irish border.
The European Research Group of pro-Brexit Conservatives, which has dozens of lawmakers as members, said the amendments “do not deliver ‘legally binding changes'” to the withdrawal agreement, as the government promised.
“In light of our own legal analysis and others, we do not recommend accepting the government’s motion today,” group member Bill Cash said.
At a late-night news conference Monday in Strasbourg, France, May and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker announced changes designed to overcome lawmakers’ concerns about provisions designed to ensure the border between EU member Ireland and Britain’s Northern Ireland remains open after Brexit.
The mechanism, known as the backstop, is a safeguard that would keep the UK in a customs union with the EU until a permanent new trading relationship is in place. Brexit supporters in Britain fear the backstop could be used to bind the country to EU regulations indefinitely.
May said documents to be added to the deal provided “legally binding” assurances that the backstop would be temporary and that Britain would have a way to get out of it if the EU failed to negotiate in good faith. However, the text of the 585-page withdrawal agreement remained unchanged.
May hoped the changes would be enough to overturn the 230-vote margin of defeat for the deal in January.
But her hopes were dashed when Attorney General Geoffrey Cox said the changes “reduce the risk” Britain could be trapped inside EU regulations — but do not eliminate it. The two-page opinion said the UK could still not extract itself from the terms of the divorce deal unilaterally, a key demand of pro-Brexit British politicians.
In a written legal opinion , Cox said that if UK-EU negotiations became stalled through “intractable differences,” Britain would have “no internationally lawful means of exiting the Protocol’s arrangements, save by agreement.”
John Whittingdale, a Brexit-supporting Conservative lawmaker, said the attorney general’s advice was “pretty terminal” for May’s plan.
The main opposition Labour Party also said it would reject the deal.
“In terms of the substance, literally nothing has changed,” Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said.
The pound, which had risen on hopes the deal would be passed, slumped by more than 1 percent against the dollar after Cox’s assessment, to trade at $1.3108.
Other EU nations had urged British politicians to seize the chance to back the deal and ensure an orderly departure.
German EU affairs minister Michael Roth, called it “a far-reaching compromise.” Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte tweeted that he was “pleased with the agreement,” adding: “An orderly #Brexit is crucial for both the EU and the UK. There is no alternative.”
The EU warned British politicians that negotiations will not be reopened if Parliament rejects the deal again.
“In politics, sometimes you get a second chance. It is what you do with this second chance that counts. Because there will be no third chance,” Juncker said.
Britain’s political impasse over Brexit has raised fears of a chaotic “no-deal” Brexit that could mean major disruption for businesses and people in the UK and the 27 remaining EU countries, with tariffs and border checks imposed on trade between the two.
Lawmakers are now due to vote in the next two days on whether to leave the EU without an agreement — an idea likely to be rejected — or to ask the EU to delay Brexit.
Delaying Brexit would need the approval from all 27 remaining EU countries. They are likely to agree, as long as Britain leaves before elections to the European parliament in late May.
Some British lawmakers had warned their Brexit-backing colleagues that rejecting the deal could lead to Britain’s departure being postponed indefinitely, because a delay would give momentum to opponents of Brexit.
“Today is our Hotel California moment. If we don’t check out tonight, we may never leave,” tweeted Conservative legislator Bob Seely.
More than two and a half years after the country voted to leave the EU — and with no certainty about when or how it will — many Britons are simply fed up.
In the staunchly pro-Brexit port of Dover in southern England, retiree Mary Simpson said she felt that her voice as a “leave” voter had not been heard.
“I am actually considering never voting again, quite honestly, because I am beginning to feel that there is no point in it,” she said.
CRIMSON TAZVINZWA, AIWA! NO!|Attorney General Geoffrey Cox says “legal risk remains unchanged” in updated #Brexit deal and UK would have no legal means of exiting without EU agreement
In his legal advice on Theresa May’s Strasbourg agreement, Britain’s Attorney General Geoffrey Cox said that new provisions “reduce the risk” of the UK being “indefinitely and involuntarily” held in the backstop, but said that “the legal risk remains unchanged” that the UK would have no legal means of exiting without EU agreement.
He wrote in his legal advice on the Strasbourg agreements: “I now consider that the legally binding provisions of the Joint Instrument and the content of the Unilateral Declaration reduce the risk that the United Kingdom could be indefinitely and involuntarily detained within the Protocol’s provisions at least in so far as that situation had been brought about by the bad faith or want of best endeavours of the EU.
“It may be thought that if both parties deploy a sincere desire to reach agreement and the necessary diligence, flexibility and goodwill implied by the amplified duties set out in the Joint Instrument, it is highly unlikely that a satisfactory subsequent agreement to replace the Protocol will not be concluded.
“But as I have previously advised, that is a political judgment, which, given the mutual incentives of the parties and the available options and competing risks, I remain strongly of the view it is right to make.
“However, the legal risk remains unchanged that if through no such demonstrable failure of either party, but simply because of intractable differences, that situation does arise, the United Kingdom would have, at least while the fundamental circumstances remained the same, no internationally lawful means of exiting the Protocol’s arrangements, save by agreement.”View image on Twitter