UK Prime Minister Theresa May said US President Donald Trump advised her to be litigious in dealing with the European Union on Brexit.
“He told me I should sue the EU,” May told BBC.
“Sue the EU, not go into negotiations, sue them.”
In an interview given before arriving in the UK, Trump criticised May for the way she handled negotiations with the EU, saying “she didn’t listen to me.” The deal she is pursuing “is not what the people voted on” and will affect trade with the US “in a negative way,” he said.
At a conference with May, Trump declined to specify what he told her. “I did give her a suggestion. I wouldn’t say advice. And I think she found it maybe too brutal.” He added: “If they don’t make the right deal, she might very well do what I suggested.” And May said “the whole country” wanted to know what “brutal, tough suggestion” was made by Trump.
Meanwhile, PM May defended her plan for leaving the EU as the only viable option, and called on voters and lawmakers to get behind it or “risk ending up with no Brexit at all.”
“I am not going to Brussels to compromise our national interest,” May wrote in the Mail. “I am going to fight for it. I am going to fight for our Brexit deal — because it is the right deal for Britain.”
May faces tricky votes in the House of Commons this week that Euroskeptics in her Conservative Party see as a test of opposition to her Brexit policy, which lays out a closer relationship to the EU’s single market that many hoped for. Boris Johnson, ex-foreign minister, and David Davis, the former Brexit secretary, resigned over it, fuelling speculation of a possible leadership challenge.
May’s Brexit blueprint calls for a new UK-EU “free trade area” with interlinked customs regimes, but critics argue that it would leave Britain signed up to rules on trade it would no longer have any ability to
influence and prevent it from signing trade deals with non-EU countries.