DAILYKENN.com -- President Donald Trump told British Prime Minister Theresa May that he would support her soft Brexit. Trump then seemed to suggest that their aggressive trade deal hinged on a hard Brexit.
'Do what you want. I'll back it. But if what you want is a soft Brexit, our trade deal is off.'
Trump earlier had demanded NATO pay its fair share then eviscerated the EU for allowing hordes of "migrants" to destroy Europe's "fabric". He concluded by suggesting an ultimatum: Trade with us or them.
From Fox News ▼
President Trump and British Prime Minister Theresa May pledged full cooperation on “reciprocal” trade and other issues on Friday, following Trump’s explosive interview which put May in even deeper political turmoil.
In a joint press conference, the two leaders touted the relationship between the U.S. and the U.K., and their commitment to work together on issues of national security, terrorism, border security and trade.
Trump, despite comments in an interview this week with The Sun, said that he supported whatever decision May comes to regarding Brexit.
“Thank you Prime Minister May for pursuing fair and reciprocal trade with the U.S. and once the Brexit process is concluded—and perhaps the U.K. has left the EU, I don’t know, whatever you’re going to do is okay with us,” Trump said. “Just make sure we can trade together. That’s all that matters.”
Trump acknowledged the level of difficulty of Brexit negotiations, saying they have not been “easy.”
The two leaders spoke as the U.K. decides how to make an exit from the European Union.
May said she and Trump came up with an “ambitious deal that works for both countries,” that would build on the U.K.’s independent trade policy.
The press conference comes after Trump's interview with The Sun, in which Trump doubled down on his criticism of May’s approach to handling Britain’s departure from the European Union.
In that interview, Trump 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 highly sought U.S.-U.K. trade deal.
“We are cracking down right now on the European Union because they have not treated the United States fairly on trading,” Trump told The Sun. “No, if they would do that I would say that that would probably end a major trade relationship with the U.S.”
Trump did praise May in the interview, but also suggested the prime minister did not take his advice on Brexit, which he said was “fine.”
“I would have done it much differently. I actually told Theresa May how to do it but she didn’t agree, she didn’t listen to me,” Trump said, noting that negotiations had gone on “too long.”
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