Donald Trump’s UK ambassador says trade deal ‘not possible’ under Theresa May’s Brexit deal

Posted On: 
31st December 2018

Donald Trump’s ambassador to the UK has said a post-Brexit transatlantic trade deal may not be “possible” under Theresa May’s deal.

President Trump branded Mrs May's deal "great" for the EU earlier this month
Credit: 
PA

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In a dig at the Prime Minister, Woody Johnson also claimed a tour of the UK had left him feeling the country was “in need of leadership”

The US President’s man in London told Radio 4’s Today programme that this boss was “looking forward to and hoping” for a “quick, very massive bilateral trade deal” with the UK.

“It will really take you way way into an exciting future,” he said.

But he added: “We’re still going through the stages of deciding where exactly the country is going.

“You know, if it goes in a way that allows these kinds of agreements to occur, I think that will be very positive in the President’s eyes." 

Pressed on whether the Prime Minister’s deal would allow that, he replied: “It doesn’t look like it would be possible.”

The diplomat, who has been touring the UK since August last year, also took a direct swipe at Mrs May, saying: “I'm feeling the country is in need of leadership.”

Mr Trump lashed out at the government’s Brexit proposals last month when he branded them “a great deal for the EU”.

Mrs May has met with widespread opposition to her agreement and was forced shelve a Commons vote before Christmas in the face of almost certain defeat.

Brexiteers fear that the Northern Ireland backstop part of the deal - which would keep the UK bound to EU customs rules if no permanent plan to keep the Irish border open can be found - will stop the UK from striking its own trade deals.

Ahead of the rescheduled Commons vote in the week of January 14, the Prime Minister has been pressing EU leaders for fresh assurances that Britain will be able to exit the backstop if it is triggered.