Donald Trump says Theresa May struggling on Brexit because she ‘didn’t listen’ to him
Donald Trump has said Theresa May’s failure to strike a deal with the European Union that could be supported by MPs was down to her failing to heed his advice.
In a scathing assessment, the US President said the Brexit process “should have gone smoothly” and that he hates to see Britain being “ripped part”, as attempts by MPs to break the impasse ahead of the 29 March exit date continue.
“I’m surprised at how badly it’s all gone from the standpoint of a negotiation, but I gave the Prime Minister my ideas on how to negotiate it and I think you would have been successful,” he told reporters during a White House press conference.
“[Theresa May] didn’t listen to that and that’s fine, I mean she’s got to do what she’s got to do, but I think it could have been negotiated in a different manner frankly.”
President Trump added that he did not believe a second referendum on whether to leave or remain in the EU was “possible” and that it would leave those who voted for Brexit in 2016 aggrieved.
“I hate to see everything being ripped apart right now,” he added.
“I don’t think another vote would be possible because it would be very unfair to the people that won. They’d say ‘what do you mean you're going to take another vote?’, so that would be tough.
“But I thought [Brexit] would happen, it did happen and both sides are very, very cemented in so it’s a tough situation, it’s a shame, frankly it’s a shame.
“There was no reason for that to happen, they could have had the vote and it should have gone smoothly, unfortunately it didn’t."
The commander-in-chief went on to suggest that an extension to Article 50 was likely, adding: "Well I think they’re going to have to do something.
“Because right now they are in the midst of a very short period of time, the end of the month and they’re not going to be able to do that".
His comments came as he sat beside Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, who was on an official visit to Washington.
The President added that the issue of the Northern Ireland backstop was “one of the most complex points” of the process.
The intervention comes hours after he tweeted that there was "unlimited" potential for a free trade deal between the US and UK once Britain left the bloc.