Trump urges Britain to send Farage to negotiate Brexit deal, says he would not pay $50 billion ‘divorce fee’

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In the lead up to his state visit this week to the United Kingdom, President Donald Trump said Prime Minister Theresa May’s successor should send Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage to conduct EU talks in Brussels and that they should leave with no deal.

Either way, the U.K. must make it happen this year, Trump said during an interview with The Sunday Times.

Calling Farage a “really terrific person,” the president he was the one who would make it happen.

“I like Nigel a lot and I think he’s got 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.”

Trump also said he wouldn’t pay the $50 billion Brexit divorce fee.

“If I were them, I wouldn’t pay $50 billion,” he insisted. “That is a big number. I wouldn’t pay 50 billion dollars. That is me. I would not pay — that is a tremendous number.”

Trump urged Britain’s next prime minister to push for a no-deal Brexit by the end of October and said May’s eventual successor should walk away from the table if they do not get what they want.

“If they don’t get what they want, I would walk away,” he said. “Yes, I would walk away. If you don’t get the deal you want, if you don’t get a fair deal, then you walk away.”

Once Britain is out of the EU, the president said he would go “all out” to agree to a trade deal with them.

“We have the potential to be an incredible trade partner with the U.K.,” he said. “We’re doing relatively little, compared to what we could be doing.”

Asked about Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the hard-left Labour Party, who may be the next prime minister, Trump said he would be “making a mistake” by not working with the U.S.

Corbyn has refused to attend the state dinner for Trump at Buckingham Palace Monday evening and is frequent critic of U.S. foreign policy under President Trump. According to The Times, Corbyn supports Marxist economics and has had previous associations with terrorist groups such as Hamas and the IRA.

“We are very, very good for the UK if you look at what we do for the UK in terms of many things, including — obviously — the military [and] intelligence as well,” Trump said. “I would think somebody in that position would want to and have to get along with the United States.”

At the same time, when asked if he would continue sharing sensitive intelligence with a government run by Corbyn, Trump replied, “I would have to know him. I would have to meet.”

“I don’t know him but I would certainly — before I’d answer that question I would have to get to know him a little bit,” he added.

When it comes to intelligence, there are concerns over the Chinese firm Huawei planning to help build a new 5G network in the UK.

 

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Tom Tillison

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