Published: Fri, July 13, 2018
Markets | By Noel Gibbs

UK's Brexit plan is 'real blow' to City

UK's Brexit plan is 'real blow' to City

His highly controversial remarks came at the end of a day in which he had already waded deeply into the Brexit row over May's Brexit vision.

"If they do a deal like that, we would be dealing with the European Union instead of dealing with the United Kingdom, so it will probably kill the deal", Mr Trump told The Sun.

He told The Sun Mrs May's plan would affect trade "unfortunately in a negative way".

Britain will fight moves by Brussels to secure the power to carry out raids on City of London firms after Brexit, despite a government White Paper conceding defeat on securing a European Union deal for smoother access for financial services to the Single Market.

Mr Trump also said he was "cracking down" on the European Union as "they have not treated the United States fairly on trading". The president said on Tuesday, "I think they like me a lot in the United Kingdom".

The comments will plunge the transatlantic "special relationship" to new lows, making for extremely awkward talks with May when the two meet at her country retreat of Chequers later on Friday.

Before the Sun interview was published, May invoked Winston Churchill as she addressed Trump and business leaders at a black-tie dinner at Blenheim Palace, the grand 18th century country house that was the birthplace of the British World War Two leader.

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Addressing the 100-strong group the Prime Minister said there was an "unprecedented" opportunity to do a deal that boosted jobs and growth in both countries.

Kevin Lamarque / Reuters British Prime Minister Theresa May and her husband Philip stand together with U.S. President Donald Trump and first Lady Melania Trump at the entrance to Blenheim Palace, where they are attending a dinner with specially invited guests and business leaders, near Oxford, Britain on July 12, 2018.

"I think he has done a bad job on crime, if you look, all of the terrible things going on there, with all of the crime that is being brought in", he said.

"I am not pitting one against the other".

"I actually told Theresa May how to do it but she didn't agree", he said. "If you look, she probably went the opposite way".

Questioned whether an alternative customs model existed beyond the Cabinet's current proposal, he said: "Yes, the no deal option or going straight to the foundations of a free trade agreement". And that is fine.

'I'd like to see them be able to work it out so it could go quickly, ' he said.

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Effectively staying in the single market for goods, but not services, is unlikely to be an attractive proposition for the EU.

The government also appeared to recognise public concerns that Brexit negotiations need to start in earnest very soon in order for there to be no data "cliff edge", saying it was "ready to begin preliminary discussions on an adequacy assessment so that a data protection agreement is in place by the end of the implementation period at the latest". "I just want the people to be happy".

"Theresa May has invited President Trump to our country at a time when his unsafe and inhumane policies are putting the lives and wellbeing of millions of people at risk", he said. "I mean, the list goes on", he said.

In a statement following the publication of the Sun interview, White House press secretary said Mr Trump "likes and respects Prime Minister May very much" and he "never said anything bad about her".

Mr Trump sparked controversy before he had even touched down at Stansted Airport, Essex, for his four day "working visit" by attacking Downing Street's handling of the Brexit negotiations.

The Swiss would like to improve their relationship with the European Union, and are in a similar situation to post-Brexit Britain as regards dispute resolution.

But Mr Trump said the prime minister is a "very good person" denying claims he called her a bossy schoolteacher, or said she was boring.

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