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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 16 December 2018

Donald Trump says Brexit agreement may hamper US-British trade

President told reporters outside the White House that the deal sounded like it would be good for the EU

Britain has hoped to forge closer trade deals with the US after Brexit. AFP
Britain has hoped to forge closer trade deals with the US after Brexit. AFP

US President Donald Trump said on Monday the agreement allowing the United Kingdom to leave the European Union may make trade between Washington and London more difficult, but the British prime minister’s office disputed his interpretation.

Mr Trump said the deal sounded like it would be good for the EU, but “I think we have to take a look seriously whether or not the UK is allowed to trade.

“Because right now if you look at the deal, they may not be able to trade with us,” he said. “And that wouldn’t be a good thing. I don’t think they meant that.”

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Theresa May urges MPs to back Brexit deal

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He said he hoped British prime minister Theresa May would be able to address the problem, but he did not specify which provision of the deal he was concerned about.

A spokeswoman for Mrs May’s office said the agreement struck with the EU allowed the UK to sign trade deals with countries throughout the world, including with the United States.

“We have already been laying the groundwork for an ambitious agreement with the US through our joint working groups, which have met five times so far,” the spokeswoman said.

Under the deal secured with EU leaders on Sunday, the UK will leave the bloc in March with continued close trade ties. But the odds look stacked against May getting it approved by a divided British parliament.