US President and dealmaker Donald Trump disparaged UK PM Theresa May’s negotiating skills, saying that Britain could have been spared the hot mess that is the Brexit process, if only she had listened to him.
May might have breathed a sigh of relief on Thursday when British MPs voted in favor of the government motion to ask the EU to extend Article 50 and delay Brexit until June 30, after two days of heavy defeats in Parliament. However, that does not mean her woes are over, as no consensus has been reached over the Brexit deal, with MPs refusing to ratify what May had negotiated with the EU, and the EU ruling out revising the deal, which in its latest form includes binding assurances on the so-called Irish ‘backstop’.
Trump, who has hailed the Brexit vote as “brave and brilliant,” commending Britons for “taking back control” of their country, has a simple explanation for why the whole thing has gone awry – Theresa May did not listen to his advice.
“I gave the prime minister my ideas on how to negotiate it. And I think you would’ve been successful. She didn’t listen to that, and that’s fine,” the president said.
Trump, co-author of The Art of the Deal, did not elaborate on what exactly he would do to smooth things over with the EU, saying only that he told May what to do, but she apparently neglected his wisdom and is now paying the price.
“But she has her own way of doing it. She is — she’s got her own way of doing it. That’s OK,” Trump said.
Trump has called May’s negotiating skills into question before. In November, he said the divorce agreement with the EU curtails the UK’s ability to strike a trade deal with the US, calling it a “great deal for the EU.”
While styling himself as a master deal-maker, Trump has not had a great track record so far in his presidency. After dragging the US into a record government shutdown over the border wall project he promised voters, he failed to secure the necessary funds. He now has to resort to using his veto powers to defy both the Democrat-controlled House and the Republican-controlled Senate in order to push through his national emergency declaration regarding the wall.
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