Trump says would take 'tougher' approach to Brexit negotiations than British PM May

US President Donald Trump said he would have taken a tougher stance in negotiating the Brexit, in an interview on Jan 28, 2018. PHOTO: AFP

LONDON (REUTERS) - US President Donald Trump would take a "tougher" approach to Brexit negotiations than Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May, he said in a television interview that was to be broadcast on Sunday (Jan 28).

In the interview with British channel ITV, Mr Trump said the European Union was "not cracked up to what it's supposed to be" and claimed he had predicted the result of the June 2016 referendum in which Britons voted to leave the EU. Mr Trump was elected to the US presidency later the same year.

When asked if Mrs May was in a "good position" regarding the ongoing Brexit talks, Mr Trump replied: "Would it be the way I negotiate? No, I wouldn't negotiate it the way it's negotiated ... I would have had a different attitude."

Pressed on how his approach would be different, he said: "I would have said the European Union is not cracked up to what it's supposed to be. I would have taken a tougher stand in getting out."

Mrs May was the first foreign leader to visit Mr Trump after his inauguration in January last year and they were filmed emerging from the White House holding hands.

But the "special relationship" between the two nations has since faced several ups and downs, including Mr Trump rebuking Mrs May on Twitter after she criticised him for retweeting British far-right anti-Islam videos.

He said in an earlier extract from the same interview that he had not intended to cause offence in Britain by sharing the videos and that he would apologise if the original posters were horrible racists.

Mr Trump's comments on militant attacks in Britain have angered some and he has often exchanged barbs on social media with Mayor of London Sadiq Khan.

Mr Trump also said in the interview that he had anticipated the Brexit referendum result because of many Britons' concerns over immigration - also a key plank of his US election campaign.

"I said because of trade, but mostly immigration, Brexit is going to be a big upset. And I was right," he said. "I know the British people and understand them."

"They don't want people coming from all over the world into Britain, they don't know anything about these people."

Mr Trump also said he had been invited by Mrs May to make two visits to Britain this year.

Earlier this month, he cancelled a trip to London to open a new embassy, saying he did not want to endorse a bad deal agreed by the Obama administration to sell the old one for "peanuts".

Some Britons are angry at the prospect of a visit by Mr Trump, with large protests expected when he does arrive.

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