President Donald Trump has waded into the most controversial issue in British politics by urging the U.K. government to leave the European Union without a deal if it can’t get better terms from EU leaders.
The Washington Times reports,
Trump told the Sunday Times in an interview published Sunday that Britain should “walk away” from talks and refuse to pay a 39 billion pound ($49 billion) divorce bill if it doesn’t get better terms from the EU.
The president also says Brexit party leader Nigel Farage should be given a role in the negotiations.
The comments come just before Trump begins a state visit Monday to Britain, hosted by Queen Elizabeth II.
Trump has also taken the unusual step of saying that Conservative Party leadership candidate Boris Johnson would make an “excellent” leader for the U.K.
The BBC notes:
Trumps views on
- Jeremy Corbyn: Asked if he would share US intelligence with a Corbyn government, the US president said: “I would have to know him, I would have to meet.”
- Brexit: On paying a £39bn ($50bn) divorce bill: “I wouldn’t pay $50bn. That is me. I would not pay – that is a tremendous number.”
- Nigel Farage: “I got to know him when he liked my campaign and he actually came to a speech and I met him. I think he is a terrific person. Really, a terrific person.”
- A US-UK trade deal: “One of the advantages of Brexit is the fact that now you can deal with the No 1 country by far.”
- Boris Johnson as PM: “[He] would do a very good job – he would be excellent. He has been very positive about me and our country.”
The US president also reiterated his praise for Boris Johnson – who is willing to leave the EU with no deal.
Mr Johnson is one of the candidates in Tory leadership contest to replace Prime Minister Theresa May.