BORIS JOHNSON For PM; Trump Comes To Town.
Trump’s comments, in which he said PM May’s Brexit plan would kill a US-UK free trade deal, were published as she hosted him on his first presidential visit to Britain
|JONATHAN LEMIRE and JILL COLVIN, AP|AIWA! NO!|US President Donald Trump lobbed a verbal hand grenade into Theresa May’s carefully constructed plans for Brexit, saying the British leader had wrecked the country’s exit from the European Union and likely “killed” chances of a free-trade deal with the United States.
Trump, who was on his first presidential visit to Britain, also told The Sun newspaper that May’s nemesis, the former foreign secretary Boris Johnson, would make a “great” British prime minister.
Trump said he had advised May on how to conduct Brexit negotiations, “but she didn’t listen to me.”
“She should negotiate the best way she knows how. But it is too bad what is going on,” the president said.
The Rupert Murdoch-owned tabloid published an interview with Trump as May was hosting him at a black-tie dinner at Blenheim Palace, birthplace of Britain’s World War II Prime Minister Winston Churchill – the leader who coined the term “special relationship” for the transatlantic bond.
The Sun said the interview was conducted Thursday in Brussels, before Trump travelled to Britain. His remarks on Brexit came the same day May’s government published long-awaited proposals for Britain’s relations with the EU after it leaves the bloc next year.
The document proposes keeping Britain and the EU in a free market for goods, with a more distant relationship for services.
The plan has infuriated fervent Brexit supporters, who think sticking close to the bloc would limit Britain’s ability to strike new trade deals around the world. Johnson and Brexit secretary David Davis both quit the government this week in protest.