Donald Trump urges UK to involve Nigel Farage in Brexit negotiations
US President Donald Trump has urged the UK to involve Nigel Farage in Brexit negotiations and be prepared to dump talks with Brussels.
In an interview with the Sunday Times ahead of his state visit on Monday, the US president said the next prime minister should refuse to pay the £39bn divorce bill if the EU does not give in to UK demands.
The commander-in-chief vowed to “go all out” to secure a free trade deal with Britain within months of Brexit going ahead, but he also hit out at the UK Government negotiating strategy.
Trump said Farage should head into the negotiations with Brussels after the Brexit Party topped the poll at the European Parliament elections.
He said: “I like Nigel a lot. He has a lot to offer. He is a very smart person. They won’t bring him in. Think how well they would do if they did. They just haven’t figured that out yet.”
The comments are a major boost for Farage, who said during the election campaign that the Brexit Party wanted a seat at the negotiating table with Brussels.
But they will serve as a blow to Theresa May, who will have to welcome Trump after she failed to sell her Brexit deal to MPs and was forced to resign.
The president dug the knife into the outgoing Prime Minister as he condemned the UK negotiating strategy, arguing it had left the EU with "all the cards" in the talks.
And he said: "If you don't get the deal you want, if you don't get a fair deal, then you walk away."
On the upcoming Tory leadership race, Trump backed Boris Johnson, Dominic Raab, Sajid Javid and Esther McVey, who have all signalled Brexit must happen by 31 October with or without a deal.
Meanwhile, The Independent reports that protestors against Trump’s state visit have vowed to bring London to a standstill, in what could become one of Britain’s biggest demonstrations in history.
London mayor Sadiq Khan, who has a long-running feud with the President, compared him to the "fascists of the 20th century" and said he was "one of the most egregious examples of a growing global threat".
In an article for the Observer, he added: "The far right is on the rise around the world, threatening our hard-won rights and freedoms and the values that have defined our liberal, democratic societies for more than 70 years."