Brexit talks: Trump says he would be ‘tougher’ than May during negotiations
Britain is preparing to leave 28-nation bloc in March 2019.Updated: Jan 28, 2018 15:52 IST
Associated Press, London
US President Donald Trump is claiming he would take a “tougher” attitude toward Brexit negotiations with the European Union than the approach now being used by British Prime Minister Theresa May.
Without providing specifics, Trump says in an ITV interview to be broadcast Sunday night that he would have used different tactics.
“Would it be the way I negotiate? No, I wouldn’t negotiate it the way it’s (being) negotiated... I would have had a different attitude,” he said. “I would have said that the European Union is not cracked up to what it’s supposed to be.”
Britain is preparing to leave 28-nation bloc in March 2019. The complex negotiations have moved slowly and May’s Cabinet seems deeply divided over how best to separate.
In the interview with Piers Morgan, Trump says he looks forward to visiting Britain — where he has been invited sometime for a state visit to be hosted by Queen Elizabeth II — and apologizes for retweeting videos by a far-right group in Britain, which exacerbated tensions with May and drew complaints in Parliament. He also said Prince Harry and American actress Meghan Markle look like a “lovely couple” but he doesn’t know if he’s been invited to their May 19 nuptials at Windsor Castle. Trump was unperturbed when told that Markle backed his rival, Democrat Hillary Clinton, in the 2016 U.S. election and has described him as “divisive.”
“Well, I still hope they’re happy,” he says.
Trump also says his administration might not withdraw from the 2015 Paris climate accord if terms more favourable to the United States are reached, in part because he likes French President Emmanuel Macron, a driving force behind implementing the accord.
The interview was conducted Thursday during Trump’s visit to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
The guest list for Harry and Markle’s wedding has not been made public and the prince’s press team said invitations have not been sent out yet.
The British press has been filled with speculation that Harry and Markle might snub Trump and invite former U.S. President Barack Obama instead. Obama gave Harry a rare interview last year that was broadcast on the BBC.
Trump, in contrast, has angered many in Britain with his crackdown on immigration and his climate change policies.
Yet during the ITV interview, he seemed open to revisiting his pledge to withdraw from Paris climate accord, in which nations set their own goals to reduce the emissions of heat-trapping gases. Because of legal technicalities, America can’t get out of the pact until November 2020.
“If somebody said, ‘Go back into the Paris accord,’ it would have to be a completely different deal, because we had a horrible deal,” Trump said.
“Would I go back in? Yeah, I’d go back in. I like, as you know, I like Emmanuel (Macron). I would love to, but it’s got to be a good deal for the United States,” he added.
Trump also said the Earth’s climate has been cooling as well as warming and asserted that ice caps have not been shrinking as predicted.
Scientists, however, report that the world hasn’t been cooling except for normal day-to-day weather variations; it has been warming instead. And there have been far more records for shrinking polar ice than growing ice, despite what the president claimed.
First Published: Jan 28, 2018 15:02 IST