Brexit: Donald Trump advised Theresa May to sue the EU, PM reveals

Ms May says the president told her not to bother negotiating with Brussels but to take the entire trade bloc to court

Joe Watts
Political Editor
Sunday 15 July 2018 11:01
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Theresa May reveals Donald Trump suggested she sue the EU

Donald Trump’s “brutal” Brexit advice to Theresa May was that she should sue the European Union, the prime minister has revealed.

Ms May said the president had told her not to bother negotiating with Brussels, and instead to simply take the entire trade bloc to court.

Many had believed the president advised Ms May to walk away from talks, even after he denied it – but the suggestion that the UK should take legal action against the EU even goes beyond what most Brexiteers would have suspected.

It comes after Mr Trump broke diplomatic protocol by apparently criticising Ms May’s approach to Brexit on the eve of an official visit to the UK, saying in and interview that he had told her to do things differently.

In a bid to then repair relations during a joint press conference on Friday, he apologised for the interview and told reporters he had merely made a “suggestion” to her of what she might do, refusing to say what it was and simply adding that she found it too “brutal”.

Asked to set out exactly what the president’s advice was on BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, Ms May said: “He told me I should sue the EU – sue the EU – not go into negotiations, sue them.

“Actually no. We’re going into negotiations with them.”

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At the press conference, Mr Trump had also indicated that if Ms May was unable to secure the deal that she needs from Britain, she might still follow his advice.

But speaking to Marr, the prime minister went on: “Interestingly, what the president also said at that press conference was don’t walk away – don’t walk away from negotiations because then you’re stuck.

“So, I want us to be able to sit down to negotiate the best deal for Britain.”

Mr Trump is to round off his first UK visit as president today as he heads for a meeting with Vladimir Putin.

The US president has spent the last two nights at his Turnberry golf resort in Scotland after meeting Theresa May and the Queen in a whirlwind tour that took place amid mass protests against his policies across the UK.

Mr Trump and his wife Melania are due to fly out of Glasgow Prestwick Airport on Sunday headed for Finland where he will meet the Russian leader for talks on Monday.

Before leaving the US for Europe last week, Mr Trump said: “So I have Nato, I have the UK – that’s a situation with turmoil. And I have Putin. Frankly, Putin may be the easiest of all.”

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