Trump says he would have taken ‘tougher’ attitude toward Brexit

LONDON: US President Donald Trump said in a TV interview aired on Sunday that he would have taken a ‘tougher’ approach to negotiations on Britain’s exit (Brexit) from the European Union (EU) than the one currently adopted by British Prime Minister Theresa May.

In an interview with journalist Piers Morgan, who hosts British ITV channel’s program Good Morning Britain, Trump said: “Would it be the way I negotiate it? No, I wouldn’t negotiate it the way it’s (being) negotiated … I would have had a different attitude.”

May meets Trump with eye on Brexit future

Acknowledging he had a lot of respect for May, the president said he “would have taken a tougher stand in getting out.”

London has dragged itself into painstaking negotiations with Brussels chaffering over favorable terms about its exit from the 28-country bloc. Formal Brexit is expected in March 2019 but progress of the talks has been slow given the complexity of the issue.

“I would have said that the European Union is not cracked up to what it’s supposed to be,” Trump said.

Trump promised a “great” bilateral trade agreement with Britain. “We are going to make a deal with (the) UK that’ll be great,” he said.

Noting London will have a two-year restriction banning it from signing bilateral trade pacts with other economies before bidding farewell to the EU, Trump said: “When that restriction is up, we’re going to be your great trading partner.”

NATO, Russia, Merkel, Brexit: Trump unleashes broadsides on Europe

The president also expressed his willingness to visit Britain, saying he was invited twice by May during their meetings on the sidelines of this year’s World Economic Forum in the Swiss ski resort of Davos, which concluded on Friday.

Trump has recently canceled a trip to London, the reason for which he said was that he didn’t like the relocation of the US embassy there.

Media reports, however, have attributed the decision to the cool reception the president would likely receive. The British public, outraged by Trump’s retweet of an anti-Muslim video originally posted by a far-right British nationalist, signed a petition urging the government not to give Trump a state visit.

The future of Britain remains unclear

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