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Trump backs no-deal Brexit, says he 'wouldn't pay' $50 mn divorce bill

He urged Britain's government to follow his rule book in negotiating deals when it came to Brexit

AFP | PTI  |  London 

The cloud of the Russia investigation has hung over US President Donald Trump since before he took office, though he has denied any illicit connection to Moscow (Photo: Reuters)
File photo pf Donald Trump

Britain should go for a no-deal with the EU and refuse to pay the agreed 39 billion pounds (45 billion euros, USD 50 billion) divorce bill, US told The Sunday Times newspaper on the eve of a visit to

The comments by America's outspoken leader came after he told The Sun newspaper he thought former foreign secretary would make an "excellent" prime minister to take over from Theresa May, the current leader who is to resign June 7 after failing to get her EU divorce text through parliament.

Trump is to embark on a three-day state visit to Britain from Monday, during which he will meet Queen Elizabeth II and have talks with May.

In his interview with The Sunday Times, he urged Britain's government to follow his rule book in negotiating deals when it came to

"If they don't get what they want, 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," he said.

On the divorce bill -- Britain's liabilities as it leaves an economic and political bloc it has been part of since 1973 -- Trump told the newspaper: "If I were them I wouldn't pay $50 billion. That is me. I would not pay, that is a tremendous number."

The US president, who is proud of his disruptive influence on in America and abroad, also said Britain's anti-EU and populist politician Nigel Farage, head of the Party, should be involved in negotiating his country's exit from the

"He is a very smart person" with a "lot to offer", said Trump, although he acknowledged that British authorities "won't bring him in".

A majority of British voters decided in a 2016 referendum to leave the The exit was meant to have happened in March this year but as been pushed back twice as Britain has been locked in an impasse on how to achieve it.

The ruling under May and the parliament are riven by what sort of Brexit they want: either a total break from the EU, or a closer relationship that implies accepting EU rules on trade and immigration.

After failing repeatedly to get her vision of Brexit passed, May has been forced to announce she will step down on Friday. More than a dozen Conservative MPs have thrown their hat in the ring to take over as party leader and prime minister, with Johnson seen as an early favourite.

Britain is hoping Trump's visit will bolster its ambitions to work out a free trade deal with the if Brexit means a go-it-alone trade policy.

Some Conservatives and the opposition Labour party, however, fear Britain would be steamrolled by the far bigger US into accepting an unbalanced accord, especially given Trump's "America First" stance in shaking up trade ties with Mexico, Canada, and

Large protests are planned during Trump's visit to

The mayor of the capital, Sadiq Khan, said Sunday in a piece in The Observer newspaper that the US was "one of the most egregious examples" of a growing global threat from the far-right.

Khan said Trump's "divisive behaviour flies in the face of the ideals America was founded upon -- equality, liberty and religious freedom".

He added that populist politicians such as Farage and Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban "are using the same divisive tropes of the fascists of the 20th century to garner support, but are using new sinister methods to deliver their message".

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, June 02 2019. 15:55 IST