Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 24 August 2019

President Trump tells UK to 'walk away' if EU does not give it what it wants in Brexit

He also urged the UK to be 'very careful' over Huawei and 5G

President Donald Trump tells the UK to 'walk away' from the EU if they do not get the right deal. AFP
President Donald Trump tells the UK to 'walk away' from the EU if they do not get the right deal. AFP

US President Donald Trump said Britain should refuse to pay its £39 billion EU divorce bill and “walk away” from Brexit talks if Brussels does not give the UK what it wants.

In an interview with the Sunday Times newspaper ahead of his state visit to Britain on Monday, Mr Trump said the next British leader should send arch-Brexiteer Nigel Farage to conduct talks with the EU.

Mr Trump said Britain must leave the EU this year.

“They've got to get it done,” he said. “They have got to get the deal closed.”

“If they don’t get what they want, I would walk away. If you don’t get a fair deal, you walk away.”

Trump repeated his backing for those candidates to succeed Prime Minister Theresa May who have said Britain must leave on the due date of October 31 with or without a deal.

Those candidates include former foreign secretary Boris Johnson, whom Trump praised in an interview with The Sun newspaper on Friday, along with former Brexit minister Dominic Raab and interior minister Sajid Javid.

Trump also said it was a mistake for the Conservatives not to involve Mr Farage, the Brexit Party leader, in negotiations with Brussels after his success in European Parliament elections last month.

“I like Nigel a lot. He has a lot to offer – he is a very smart person,” Trump said.

“They won’t bring him in but think how well they would do if they did. They just haven't figured that out yet.”

On the Brexit divorce bill, he said: “If I were them, I wouldn’t pay 50 billion dollars. That is a tremendous number.”

Mr Trump also said he would have “to know” veteran Socialist Labour opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn before authourising US intelligence to share its most sensitive secrets with a hard-left government.

It comes as Mr Corbyn said it was "entirely unacceptable" for Mr Trump to interfere in British affairs.

Mr Trump also warned British ministers they must be careful not to jeopardise intelligence-sharing by letting Chinese firm Huawei Technologies into Britain’s new 5G mobile phone network.

Asked about reports that Britain is planning to give the firm a limited role, Mr Trump told the newspaper: "Well, you have other alternatives and we have to be very careful from the standpoint of national security."

He added: "You know we have a very important intelligence gathering group, that we work very closely with your country (Britain) and so you have to be very careful."

The US has long voiced suspicions that Huawei is controlled by the Chinese government and thus a global security threat - charges strongly denied by the firm and by Beijing.

Prime Minister Theresa May's government has insisted a decision has not yet been made on Huawei's involvement in building a 5G network in Britain.

Mr Trump said he believed "things will all work out, you'll see".

Updated: June 2, 2019 10:16 AM

SHARE

SHARE