International desk, July 13: Donald Trump has said the UK will “probably not” get a trade deal with the US, if the prime minister’s Brexit plan goes ahead.He told The Sun the PM’s plan would “probably kill the deal” as it would mean the US “would be dealing with the European Union” instead of with the UK.
Downing Street has not yet reacted to Mr Trump’s remarks.
Theresa May has been making the case for a US free trade deal with Mr Trump, on his first UK visit as president.
She said Brexit was an “opportunity” to create growth in the UK and US.
Mr Trump also said that former foreign secretary Boris Johnson would make a “great prime minister”, adding “I think he’s got what it takes”.
In his interview, he renewed his criticism of London Mayor Sadiq Khan over last year’s terror attacks in the capital, saying he had done “a terrible job”.
The president and his wife were given a red carpet reception at Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire on Thursday evening.
They were at a black-tie dinner with Mrs May as news broke of his interview with the newspaper, which said it was conducted while he was in Brussels.
After it was published, Whitehouse spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said the president “likes and respects Prime Minister May very much”, adding that he had “never said anything bad about her”.
Mr Trump told The Sun newspaper that the UK’s blueprint for its post-Brexit relations with the EU was “a much different deal than the people voted on”.
He said the Brexit proposals Mrs May and her cabinet thrashed out at Chequers last week mean it would be “most likely … we would be dealing with the European Union instead of dealing with the UK, so it will probably kill the deal”.
He also said he had told Mrs May how to do a Brexit deal, but: “She didn’t agree, she didn’t listen to me.”
“I told her how to do it. That will be up to her to say. But I told her how to do it. She wanted to go a different route,” he said.
UK reaction to the president’s remarks has been mostly critical.
Conservative MP Sarah Wollaston called them “divisive, dog-whistle rhetoric”, and added: “If signing up to the Trump world view is the price of a deal, it’s not worth paying.”
Labour MP Phil Wilson, supporter of the People’s Vote campaign which calls for a public vote on the final Brexit deal, said Mr Trump’s comments showed the prime minister’s “botched” Brexit proposal was “worsening hour by hour”.
He said: “She has pinned all her hopes on getting a trade deal with Donald Trump but instead the US president has explicitly backed and strengthened those who advocate a disastrous no deal Brexit.”
Mr Trump’s comments came on the same day the UK government published its proposal for its long-term relationship with the EU.
The long-awaited plan is aimed at ensuring trade co-operation, with no hard border for Northern Ireland, and global trade deals for the UK.
Responding to an earlier suggestion by President Trump that the British people were not getting the Brexit they voted for, Mrs May said: “We have come to an agreement on the proposal we are putting to the European Union which absolutely delivers on the Brexit we voted for.”