President Trump has softened his stance on trading with the European Union, even putting an EU trade deal over a British one, according to a report.
The article, featuring in The Times’ Saturday edition, states that “Britain has been pushed behind the European Union in the queue to strike a free-trade deal with the United States.” Adding that German Chancellor Merkel convinced Donald Trump of the benefits of free trade in a private conversation last month.
The revelations will anger eurosceptics, who lashed out at President Obama when he said “Britain will be at the back of the queue” if it wants a post-Brexit trade deal, in an extraordinary intervention during the EU referendum campaign.
In a meeting with Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni on Thursday, Mr Trump distanced himself from Brexit with a much friendlier tone towards the EU, saying “a strong Europe is very, very important to me as president of the United States.
“And it’s also, in my opinion – in my very strong opinion, important for the United States.”
His tone was starkly different to his pro-Brexit, anti-EU rhetoric during the US election campaign, where he criticised his country’s trade deficit with the bloc.
Responding to the story, Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron said it’s “a devastating blow to Theresa May’s hard Brexit plans.”
Adding: “Theresa May should now make clear she will prioritise a trade deal with the EU over one with Trump.
“It’s not too late to prevent a hard Brexit and keep Britain in the Single Market.
“This election is a chance to change the direction of our country.”