Friday, 22 March, 2019

Trump sharply criticizes British leader's handling of Brexit

Trump says Europe is 'being ripped apart' by Brexit Trump Jumps Again Into Brexit Debate
Patty Aguilar | 15 March, 2019, 14:43

Speaking to reporters ahead of his meeting on Thursday with Leo Varadkar, the Irish prime minister, Trump said he wants Brexit talks to work out but was surprised at how badly the negotiations have gone, adding that the British prime minister did not listen to his suggestions on how to negotiate.

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar took his partner Matthew Barrett with him on Thursday as he met with US Vice President Mike Pence at his residence in Washington, DC.

Trump said that Brexit is "tearing countries apart".

"I will tell you, I'm surprised at how badly it's all gone from the standpoint of a negotiation", Trump said, sounding like he wasn't that surprised at all.

Varadkar said that growing up in Ireland, he was always "fascinated by American politics", which "inspired me to believe in the power of politics to do good". "I don't think another vote would be possible because it would be very unfair to the people that won", Trump said.

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

He said he told Mr Trump there was an opportunity for an EU-US trade deal.

Gardiner rejects Irish concerns about the border and said the issue has been used as a "battering ram" by European Union leadership keen to make Britain a cautionary example to other member states flirting with an exit.

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Trump, who holds himself up as a master deal-maker, said he had given Prime Minister Theresa May his ideas on how she could negotiate a successful deal for leaving the 28-member group of nations.

The Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, will travel to Chicago today as part of the annual Saint Patrick's Day programme of events.

Bilateral relations and the Irish undocumented immigrants in the USA were on the agenda for Mr Varadkar's Oval Office meeting with Mr Trump, but Brexit dominated their talks. Irish leaders say a new formal border would put profitable commerce at risk and invoke the ghosts of the bloody conflicts in Northern Ireland known as the Irish Troubles. "I regret Brexit's happening".

Parliament will vote later Thursday on whether to extend the March 29 deadline for a deal.

"I predicted it was going to happen, and I was right".

Mr Varadkar replied: "We have a different opinion, Mr President. But they're going now and that's their decision", Varadkar said, adding that the negotiations shouldn't cause any problems in Northern Ireland. I believe in free trade.

"We talked about Brexit, something that is turning out to be a little more complex than they thought it would be".

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