Donald Trump threw the United Kingdom into turmoil on Thursday night when he gave an interview to The Sun and harshly criticized Prime Minister Theresa May’s announced plan for leaving the European Union.
In that interview, he said that May’s approach to Brexit would leave Britain sticking to a “common rulebook” with Brussels on trade goods and as a result would kill the chances of a U.S.-U.K. trade deal which May and her government very much want.
“We are cracking down right now on the European Union because they have not treated the United States fairly on trading,” he told The Sun. “No, if they would do that I would say that that would probably end a major trade relationship with the United States.”
In the interview he did praise May but also said that she had not taken his advice on Brexit, which seemed to upset him even though he said it 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,” he said, before saying Brexit negotiations had gone on “too long.”
Trump’s comments were devastating for May, who has come under fire over the past week after she announced her Brexit plan to her cabinet. That plan led to a number of government officials resigning, including Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and Brexit Secretary David Davis. Her government is in crisis and now the President of the United States has just made things much more difficult for her.
Unhappiness over her Brexit plan will soon lead to a leadership challenge against May by the Tories who favor a so-called “hard Brexit” as opposed to May’s “soft Brexit.” Needless to say May’s political opponents were very happy with Trump’s comments.
After Trump stabbed May in the back he then twisted the knife by continuing to praise Johnson, May’s chief rival. He said he may meet with Johnson while he is in the U.K. which would be a slap in the face of the Prime Minister. In his disruptive interview he also said that he thought Johnson could be a future leader of the country.
“Well I am not pitting one against the other,” he said. “I am just saying that he would be a great Prime Minister. I think he’s got what it takes.”
In the interview, he also declared that Britain is “losing its culture” due to mass migration, and continued his attacks on London Mayor Sadiq Khan who he said had done “a very bad job on terrorism.”
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.