Donald Trump dealt another blow to Theresa May’s Brexit deal after he suggested that it was good for the EU but not future UK-US trade relations.
The US President hinted that the deal could hinder the ability of the UK to agree new trade deals whilst it is still closely tied to the bloc.
Mr Trump said the draft deal could mean the UK “may not be able to trade with us” and expressed concern that the terms of the agreement will not allow an increase in UK-US trade beyond the levels currently seen with EU membership.
Critics of Mrs May’s deal say it could leave the UK having to stay too closely aligned to the EU, limiting the scope of deals that could be struck with non-EU countries in future.
“Hopefully, she’ll be able to do something about that,” Mr Trump said.
Theresa May meets with US President Donald Trump in September (Getty Images)
A Downing Street spokesman said the political declaration agreed with the EU is “very clear we will have an independent trade policy so that the UK can sign trade deals with countries around the world – including with the US”.
The groundwork for an “ambitious” agreement with the US has been laid in five meetings of joint working groups, the spokesman said.
After Mr Trump became President in January 2017 Mrs May said she was confident that a “new trading relationship” could be opened up between the UK and US.
But this is not the first time Trump has thrown a spanner in the works
The president caused Mrs May serious political embarrassment ahead of his visit to Britain in July when he said her Chequers proposals could “kill” any UK-US trade deal.
In an interview with the Sun, he said he would have done the Brexit negotiations “much differently” and claimed the PM had not listened to his advice.
He said: “I would have done it differently. I actually told Theresa May how to do it but she didn’t agree, she didn’t listen to me. She wanted to go a different route.
“I would actually say she probably went the opposite way.”
Theresa May and Donald Trump appeared at a rather awkward press conference in July (Photo: Getty)
“The deal she is striking is a much different deal than the one the people voted on. It was not the deal that was in the referendum.”
He later backtracked…
Following the publication of the interview, Mr Trump heaped praise on “incredible” Mrs May and suggested that the story had been misreported.
“I never said anything bad about her. I think she is a nice person. I get along with her very nicely,” he said in a press conference at her country retreat.
“Whatever you do is okay with us, but just make sure we can trade together that’s all that matters.”
He has never been a fan of the EU
The President has been highly critical of the EU in the past, especially its trading policies.
In fact, the president once said the European Union was “set up to take advantage of the United States”.
Since he has been in office he has slapped tariffs on steel and aluminium imports from the EU and threatened to impose further levies on car imports.
He has also been critical of the freedom of movement at the core of the bloc.
Nigel Farage met with Donald Trump at Trump Tower. (Nigel Farage/PA)
“I have a great love for countries in Europe. I think what has happened in Europe is a shame,” he said.
“Allowing the immigration to take place in Europe is a shame. So I think allowing millions and millions of people to come into Europe is very, very sad. I think you are losing your culture.”
And loves Mr Brexit
Mr Trump became friends with leading Brexiteer Nigel Farage during his campaign to become President, even dubbing him Mr Brexit.
He was one of the first foreign politicians to meet Mr Trump after he won the presidential election – ahead of Mrs May’s trip to the US.
According to reports administration officials have maintained close connections with Mr Farage and other British Eurosceptics, said to include former foreign secretary Boris Johnson.