Trump warns Brexit deal will hinder UK-US trade

But, in his opinion, it represents "great deal for the EU"

Photo: EPA US President Donald Trump

President Donald Trump has warned on Monday that Britain “may not be able to trade with the US” because of Theresa May’s Brexit deal in comments that could torpedo her hopes of winning Parliament’s backing. Yet, he stressed that the agreement May reached with Brussels on Sunday “sounds like a great deal for the EU.”

"Right now if you look at the deal, [the UK] may not be able to trade with us. And that wouldn't be a good thing. I don't think they meant that." Trump told reporters outside the White House.

The President’s intervention flies in the face of May’s claims that Britain will be able to strike free trade deals around the world after Brexit and regain control of laws, money and borders, despite her concessions to the EU. Nonetheless, Trump's words are likely to inflame Eurosceptic backbench Tory MPs' attitudes towards May, and make it even harder for her to get her proposed deal through Parliament. Labour has already said it will not support the deal, and many Conservative MPs have said they will oppose it, with some observers predicting May will not have the numbers to ultimately pass it.

In response to Trump's comments, UK Cabinet Office minister David Lidington claimed Trump's remarks "were not unexpected" and negotiations on a trade deal with the US were always going to be "challenging".

"The United States is a tough negotiator," he said. "President Trump's always said very plainly 'I put America first'. Well, I'd expect the British prime minister to put British interests first."

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