|United States President-Elect Donald Trump|
United States President-Elect Donald Trump last night delivered a huge boost to Britain by promising a trade deal within weeks of taking office to help make Brexit a ‘great thing’he was inviting Theresa May to visit him ‘right after’ he gets into the White House.
Trump said that he wants a trade agreement between the two countries secured ‘very quickly’ – making a mockery of President Obama’s threat that, if the country voted for Brexit, we would be at the ‘back of the queue’.
He struck a decidedly harsher tone with the EU – predicting more countries will leave and saying it has been hugely damaged by the migration crisis.
Germany and its Chancellor Angela Merkel were lambasted for making a ‘catastrophic mistake’ when she let more than one million migrants.
In comments that are likely to trigger controversy at home and abroad, he also:
Declared that he could agree a nuclear weapons reduction deal with Russia’s President Putin in return for lifting US sanctions.
He said: ‘For one thing, I think nuclear weapons should be way down and reduced very substantially, that’s part of it.’
Pledged that orders will be signed next Monday to strengthen America’s borders, which could include travel restrictions on Europeans coming to the US
|Britain PM Theresa May|
|Russian president Vladimir Putin|
Threatened ‘extreme vetting’ for those entering America from parts of the world known for Islamist terrorism.
Said that he will start off by trusting Mrs Merkel and Mr Putin – but that might not last long.
Slammed Nato as ‘obsolete’ and claimed they had ‘not bothered about terrorism’.
Described the decision to invade Iraq as ‘possibly the worst decision ever made in the history of our country’, saying it was like ‘throwing rocks into a beehive’.
Pointing to a possible meeting with Mrs May at the White House in February, he said: ‘We’re gonna work very hard to get it done quickly and done properly. Good for both sides.
‘I will be meeting with [Mrs May]. She’s requesting a meeting and we’ll have a meeting right after I get into the White House and it’ll be, I think we’re gonna get something done very quickly.’
Mr Trump said he thought that ‘Brexit is going to end up being a great thing’.
He urged Britain to veto any new UN Security Council resolution critical of Israel and repeated his criticism of President Obama’s handling of the Iran nuclear deal.
Ahead of his inauguration on Friday, he also that said he was also looking forward to visiting Britain, saying his Scottish mother was ‘proud of the Queen’.
He went on: ‘Any time the Queen was on television, an event, my mother would be watching.
Mr Trump also joked that his Scottish ancestry meant he liked to ‘watch my pennies’, adding: ‘I mean I deal in big pennies, that’s the problem.’
The remarks will come as both a relief to No10, and be seen as a vindication of the strategy pursued by Mrs May.
She was accused of being ill-prepared for a Trump victory. Further embarrassment followed when Ukip-leader Nigel Farage was invited for an early meeting at Trump Tower.
Since then, Downing Street has worked hard on building a strong relationship with the Trump team – with top aides Nick Timothy and Fiona Hill visiting New York before Christmas. Last week Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson also met with key advisers to Mr Trump.