PRESIDENT Donald Trump has warned Theresa May her plan for Brexit could ‘kill’ any trade deal between the United Kingdom and the United States.
In an interview with a national newspaper – released during his visit to Blenheim Palace last night – the politician said the UK’s close alignment with the European Union post-Brexit would likely scupper plans for a UK-US trade agreement.
Mr Trump arrived in the UK yesterday for what has long been called a ‘working visit’, at the loss of an official state visit which had previously been discussed by officials from both nations.
In the interview, the president said he would have done Brexit negotiations ‘much differently’ – even claiming PM Theresa May did not listen to his advice for the talks.
The controversial remarks came at the end of a day in which he had already waded deeply into the Brexit row over Theresa May's white paper ahead of his first official visit to Britain as president.
He had used a Thursday morning press conference in Brussels to attack the prime minister's Brexit plan and highlight cabinet divisions.
In The Sun, Mr Trump said: ‘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.
‘If they do that, then their trade deal with the US will probably not be made.’
The comments, following on from the morning press conference, will be a cause of great concern for Mrs May.
She had used the Blenheim black tie dinner with political and business leaders to press Mr Trump on the benefits of a free trade deal after Brexit.
Addressing the 100-strong group the Prime Minister said there was an 'unprecedented’ opportunity to do a deal that boosted jobs and growth in both countries.
But Mr Trump appeared to link Brexit to the current trade dispute between the US and EU over steel and aluminium.
He said: ‘We have enough difficulty with the European Union.
‘We are cracking down right now on the European Union because they have not treated the United States fairly on trading.
‘No, if they do that I would say that would probably end a major trade relationship with the United States.’
It was also revealed from a previous interview Mr Trump had heaped praise on to the former foreign secretary Boris Johnson, in the week he gave up his post.
Again in the interview, Mr Trump said: ‘I was very saddened to see he was leaving government and I hope he goes back in at some point.
‘I think he is a great representative for your country.
‘I am just saying I think he would be a great prime minister. I think he's got what it takes.’
Mr Trump will today meet Theresa May for bilateral talks at her country residence, Chequers.