Nigel Farage claims Donald Trump better prepared for post-Brexit Britain than Theresa May

Exclusive: Brexit Party leader meets privately with president during London visit

Andrew Buncombe
Wednesday 05 June 2019 22:42 BST
Donald Trump says NHS is 'on the table' in post-Brexit trade deal

Pro-Brexit politician Nigel Farage has claimed Donald Trump is “better prepared” for a post-Europe Britain than prime minister Theresa May.

As Mr Trump wrapped up a three-day state visit to Britain and travelled to Ireland to meet Irish president Leo Varadkar, Mr Farage said he had noticed the level of preparation already being made by the US for once Britain leaves Europe.

“What I was struck by was how serious they are about this and [their] preparation,” he told The Independent. “They seem to have done a lot more thinking about this than we have.”

Asked if his main take away from Mr Trump’s visit, during which he met privately with the president, was that the US administration was ahead of its preparations for a post-Brexit than the UK currently was, he said it was. “It’s a fun week,” he added.

Mr Farage, whose recently formed Brexit Party secured 28 of the 73 British European Union seats and almost a third of the votes in last month’s European elections, has long criticised Ms May’s faltering negotiations to lead Britain out of Europe. Critics of Mr Farage say his populist image and media-friendliness cover up dangerously right wing views.

The deal Ms May proposed and agreed with European leaders, was voted down three times in parliament, forcing her to agree to stand aside as leader of the Conservative Party and immediately triggering a contest to succeed her. Mr Farage, by contrast, has always said it would be better for Britain to leave with no deal than agree to the terms proposed by Ms May.

Ahead of his visit to Britain, Mr Trump told the Sunday Times he felt the UK’s negotiators had given too much away. “If you don’t get the deal you want, if you don’t get a fair deal, then you walk away,” he said. He also said the negotiators ought to find a role for Mr Farage, who had campaigned for Mr Trump in the 2016 presidential election.

“He has a lot to offer,” said the US leader. “He is a very smart person. They won’t bring him in. Think how well they would do if they did.”

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Asked about Mr Trump’s comments, Mr Farage said he would not add to the president’s remarks. “It’s not something we discussed.”

In his press conference with Ms May, Mr Trump dangled the prospect of a major US-UK trade deal once Britain leaves Europe.

“I would think that it will happen, and it probably should happen,” Mr. Trump said of the prospect of Brexit happening. “This is a great, great country and it wants its own identity,”

Speaking about trade, he said: “As the UK makes preparations to exit the European Union, the United States is committed to a phenomenal trade deal between the U.S. and the UK. There is tremendous potential in that trade deal. I say probably two or even three times of what we’re doing right now.”

Mr Trump also triggered outrage among many Britons by claiming the National Health Service would have to be “on the table” in any trade deal negotiation.

He later rolled back his remarks, telling ITV: “I don’t see it being on the table. Somebody asked me a question today and I said everything is up for negotiation because everything is. But I don’t see that being – that’s something that I would not consider part of trade.”

Ms May’s office did not immediately respond to enquiries

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