President Trump says British PM May’s soft Brexit plan would kill UK-US trade deal
Breaking all normal diplomatic conventions, Donald Trump has blasted his host, British Prime Minister Theresa May, in an interview published shortly after May rolled out the red carpet at Blenheim Palace for the US president’s first official visit to Britain.
In the explosive interview with the British tabloid Sun published on Thursday night, Trump disparaged May’s compromise, pro-business plan to leave the European Union and warned that her approach could imperil any future trade deal between the US and UK, saying the prime minister’s Brexit plan is going “the opposite way.”
“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,” he told the Sun.
He said that May ignored his advice on Brexit negotiations with the EU. “I would have done it much differently. I actually told Theresa May how to do it, but she didn’t listen to me.”
At the Blenheim Palace dinner held in Trump’s honor on Thursday evening, May lavished praise on the US president and her country’s special relationship with America.
And, she vowed to “tear down” the bureaucratic barriers that the EU had put in the path of business, and promised to overcome American fears about her new Brexit plan.
“Now, as we prepare to leave the European Union, we have an unprecedented opportunity to do more. It’s an opportunity to reach a free trade agreement that creates jobs and growth here in the UK and right across the United States,” she told Trump.
“It’s also an opportunity to tear down the bureaucratic barriers that frustrate business leaders on both sides of the Atlantic. And it’s an opportunity to shape the future of the world through cooperation in advanced technology, such as artificial intelligence,” she added.
But Trump’s dismissive remarks threatened to undermine her desperate attempts to placate angry Tory leavers by winning US support for her so-called soft Brexit plan.
World leaders should declare Trump persona non grata
Commenting on Trump’s insulting remarks against the host, American political analyst and academic Dennis Etler said, “Amazing that world leaders have not made Trump persona non grata.”
“He should be barred from all international meetings and should not be invited for state visits. Foreign leaders should also boycott going to Washington to be hosted by him,” added Etler who has a decades-long interest in international affairs.
“The world would be a much safer place if they did,” he stated.
Trump says he feels ‘unwelcome’ in London
During his interview, Trump also told the Sun that he wasn’t planning to spend much time in the British capital because he didn’t feel welcome because of all the mass protests scheduled against him for Friday.
“I guess when they put out blimps to make me feel unwelcome, no reason for me to go to London,” he said. “I used to love London as a city. I haven’t been there in a long time. But when they make you feel unwelcome, why would I stay there?”
In addition, Trump once again attacked London’s Muslim mayor, Sadiq Khan, accusing him of doing a “bad job” on tackling terrorism and crime.
“Take a look at the terrorism that is taking place. Look at what is going on in London. I think he has done a very bad job on terrorism,” Trump said. “I think he has done a bad job on crime, if you look, all of the horrible things going on there, with all of the crime that is being brought in.”
Thousands of Britons have planned a “carnival of protests” during Trump’s visit to the country.
The planned nationwide demonstrations against Trump have been launched by a collection of different organizations protesting everything the populist leader stands for including sexism, racism and Islamophobia.
The protestors have found creative ways to express their disgust at Trump, such as a giant crowd-funded inflatable balloon of a “baby Trump” wearing a diaper which will float high over London within full view of the press, Trump’s entourage and eight million local Londoners.
London Mayor Khan, who has a tense relations with Trump, and City Hall have given the green light for the giant inflatable “baby Trump” to be flown near Parliament.