Trump twists knife into Theresa May, saying Boris Johnson ‘would be a great PM’
Donald Trump twisted the knife into Theresa May last night, as he backed Boris Johnson as a future Prime Minister.
The US President said he was "very saddened" to see the former Foreign Secretary leave the government, adding that he is a "very talented guy".
Trump told The Sun : "I have a lot of respect for Boris. He obviously likes me, and says very good things about me.
"I think he is a great representative for your country."
Despite his inflammatory comments, the President insisted he was not pitting BoJo against Mrs May.
He added: "I am just saying I think he would be a great Prime Minister. I think he’s got what it takes."
Trump dealt a crushing blow to Mrs May last night by declaring her soft Brexit plan will "kill" a US-UK trade deal.
He shoved the PM to the back of the queue despite her begging for trade as she threw a lavish welcome party for his four-day visit to Britain.
The President also said Britain is "losing its culture" to migration and London mayor Sadiq Khan "has done a very bad job on terrorism."
And he moaned there was "no reason" for him to come to London because people had "put out blimps to make me feel unwelcome".
His comments about trade risk exploding the civil war in the Conservative Party over Mrs May’s softer plan for Brexit, which she unveiled in full just hours earlier.
Her White Paper, which will see Britain mimic EU rules on goods imports, prompted Cabinet Brexiteers Boris Johnson and David Davis to resign amid fears it would make a US trade deal harder.
In a bid to win over Tory Leavers, Mrs May insisted she was still seeking a US trade deal – and tonight used a dinner speech at Blenheim Palace to appeal directly to the President.
But speaking to The Sun, President Trump declared: "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.
"If they do that, then their trade deal with the US will probably not be made.”
He added he was already having "enough difficulty" with the EU and Mrs May’s plan "will definitely affect trade" with the US in a negative way.
Savaging Mrs May’s Brexit plans the President said: "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. She wanted to go a different route."
It is a major humiliation for the Prime Minister hours before she was due to discuss Brexit trade with the President at Chequers on Friday.
At Blenheim Palace she had rolled out the red carpet, invoked Winston Churchill and hailed US-UK trade, saying: "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.
Donald Trump’s UK visit
"It’s also an opportunity to tear down the bureaucratic barriers that frustrate business leaders on both sides of the Atlantic."
Yet news of President Trump’s comments broke before they had finished dining on their strawberries and clotted cream ice cream dessert.
Despite the interview, International Trade Secretary Liam Fox claimed the President had heaped praise on UK-US trade at Blenheim Palace.
More than an hour after Trump’s comments emerged, the Cabinet minister tweeted: "Terrific to hear @POTUS @realDonaldTrump talk so positively about UK & US Trade tonight at Blenheim Palace."
But Trump had already raised the spectre of rejection earlier in the day when he suggested Mrs May’s deal was not what Brexiteers voted for.
"I would say Brexit is Brexit," he told reporters as he left the NATO summit in Brussels.
"The people voted to break it up so I would imagine that’s what they would do, but maybe they’re taking a different route, I don’t know if that is what they voted for."
In the Sun interview he went further, saying: "It was not the deal that was in the referendum."
Latest Brexit news
A Labour source said the comment was "embarrassing".
They added: "The Prime Minister has rolled out the red carpet for Donald Trump, only for him to become the latest in a long list to reject her Brexit deal."
Labour MP Phil Wilson, of the anti-Brexit People’s Vote campaign, said: “She has pinned all her hopes on getting a trade deal with Donald Trump but instead the US President has explicitly backed and strengthened those who advocate a disastrous no deal Brexit."
The interview emerged after Jeremy Corbyn branded Donald Trump “dangerous and inhumane” saying his policies put millions of lives at risk.
The Labour leader – who is expected to be in his constituency tomorrow, rather than on a protest – slammed the President ahead of his formal talks with Theresa May at Chequers on Friday lunchtime.
He said: “Theresa May has invited President Trump to our country at a time when his dangerous and inhumane policies are putting the lives and wellbeing of millions of people at risk.
“We are committed to dialogue, including of course with those we strongly disagree with and in government we would find a way to work with his administration while also standing up for our values.
“But instead the Tories are rewarding President Trump with a red carpet welcome.
“We must show Trump and the Tories that we can and we will defeat the politics of division.”
Chequers Brexit deal explained – and why it’s forced Boris Johnson and David Davis to resign
Theresa May agreed a major shift to soft Brexit at her country retreat Chequers – prompting her Brexit Secretary David Davis and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson to quit.
The ‘third way’ plan for UK customs rules proposed keeping the UK closely aligned with the EU in a new "free trade area" for goods.
This will include sharing a "common rulebook" for all goods including agricultural and food products – and a possible compromise on migration.
To appease Brexiteers, Parliament would keep the right to block future changes to the trading rules.
But Brexiteers were enraged by this close link with Brussels and David Davis said this olive branch was meaningless in practice.
The deal also proposes a "common rulebook" with the EU on state aid rules, and agrees to "step up" backup plans for a No Deal Brexit. A full White Paper was due to be published on Thursday 12 July.
Source: Read Full Article