Trump slams handling of Brexit by British PM Theresa May

Evarado Alatorre
Marcha 15, 2019

President Trump and first lady Melania Trump welcome Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar at the South Portico as he arrives at the White House on Thursday.

"It's a very complex thing that's going on right now", he told reporters in Washington at a bilateral meeting with Ireland's prime minister, Leo Varadkar.

"I regret that Brexit's happening and the United Kingdom was a really important part of the European Union".

Meanwhile, at the traditional St Patrick's Day shamrock ceremony at the White House, Mr Varadkar praised Mr Trump for the results of his efforts to "Make America Great Again". I think we will stay right in our lane.

"The American economy is booming".

Last year, Vice President Pence reportedly extended an invitation to Varadkar and Barrett to visit him and his wife Karen at their Washington, DC residence.

Bilateral relations and the Irish undocumented immigrants in the United States were on the agenda for Mr Varadkar's Oval Office meeting with Mr Trump, but Brexit dominated their talks.

During a press conference with the taoiseach, the U.S. president confirmed he would make the trip because Ireland is "a special place".

Brexit won't spoil the relationship, even given Trump's history of turning on leaders who cross him, said Marquette University historian Timothy G. McMahon, president of the American Conference for Irish Studies. He said: "It wasn't that I was a supporter".

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"I thought it would happen, it did happen, and both sides are very, very cemented in".

Donald Trump has said Theresa May ignored his suggestions on how to negotiate Brexit and he is surprised at how badly it has been handled. I think it could have been negotiated in a different manner, frankly. "I hate to see it being - everything being ripped apart right now", Trump said, adding that holding a second referendum "would be very unfair to the people that won".

"We have a different opinion", he said, referring to the president. "I regret that Brexit's happening".

If they don't, the UK faces a hard exit from the European Union, an eventuality many officials in the US, UK and Europe believe could cause economic turmoil. "He has consistently emphasized Brexit as a prerequisite for a new USA -U.K. free trade agreement, and administration officials and members of Congress have been working diligently to prepare for such an agreement", Gardiner, director of the Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom at The Heritage Foundation, tells VOA News. "We're going to tariff a lot of their products coming in because the European Union treats us very, very unfairly".

"I also knew at the time that I lived in a country where, if I tried to be myself at the time, I would have ended up breaking laws".

Varadkar continued, "We shouldn't have a hard border, or anything to disrupt the peace process. He is supportive on that point".

Trump also repeated falsehoods he's made before Thursday when he said he was not a supporter of Brexit. He added: "It will be many years before the United Kingdom is able to make any trade deals, so surely it makes sense to make one with the European Union first".

Mr Trump was due to visit the Republic of Ireland past year, but it was cancelled for "scheduling reasons". "It's a special place".

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