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Trump advised me to sue EU: May

Trump advised me to sue EU: May
Theresa May
London, Jul 15 (Agencies) | Publish Date: 7/16/2018 12:52:48 AM IST
Donald Trump told Theresa May she should sue the EU rather than negotiate over Brexit, she has told the BBC.
The US president said on Friday at a joint press conference that he had given her a suggestion but she had found it too “brutal”.
Asked by the BBC’s Andrew Marr what it was he had said, she replied: “He told me I should sue the EU - not go into negotiations.”
She defended her blueprint for Brexit and urged her critics to back it.
She said it would allow the UK to strike trade deals with other nations, end free movement of people and the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice.
A White Paper published on Thursday fleshed out details of her plan, which advocates close links with the EU on trade in goods, but not services.
Before the paper was published, Brexit Secretary David Davis and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson resigned, saying it would not deliver the Brexit people voted for in the 2016 EU referendum.
Mrs May laughed off the president’s legal action suggestion, saying she would carry on with negotiations, but added: “Interestingly, what the president also said at that press conference was ‘don’t walk away’.
“Don’t walk away from those negotiations because then you’ll be stuck. So I want us to be able to sit down to negotiate the best deal for Britain.”
Donald Trump told the Sun newspaper Mrs May’s proposals would “probably kill” a trade deal with his country.
Hours later, however, he said a US-UK trade deal would “absolutely be possible”.
Leading Tory Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg has called the White Paper a “bad deal for Britain”. He says it would lead to the UK having to follow EU rules with no say in how they are made.
He told the BBC’s Sunday Politics: “The government unfortunately believes that Brexit is not a good thing in itself, it seems to think it has to be tempered by non-Brexit.”
He said Mrs May, who campaigned to keep Britain in the EU in the 2016 referendum, had failed to grasp the “enormously positive” opportunities offered by Brexit.
He described her as a “Remainer who has remained a Remainer”.
He said she would have to change her policy in order to get it through Parliament, without having to rely on Labour votes.
Mrs May urged Brexiteers in her own party to “keep their eye on the prize” of Brexit - and said her plan was the only workable way to deliver it.
May warns rebels: Back me or risk ‘no Brexit at all’
British Prime Minister Theresa May warned her divided party on Sunday that there may be “no Brexit at all” if they wrecked her plan to forge a close relationship with the European Union after leaving the world’s biggest trading bloc, reports Reuters.
“My message to the country this weekend is simple: we need to keep our eyes on the prize,” May wrote on Facebook. “If we don’t, we risk ending up with no Brexit at all.”
Linking the fate of Brexit to her own survival in such an explicit way indicates just how precarious May’s position remains after her government was thrust into crisis and U.S. President Donald Trump publicly criticised her Brexit strategy.
With less than nine months to go before the United Kingdom is due to leave the EU on March 29, 2019, the country, the political elite and business leaders are still deeply divided over what form Brexit should take.
By warning that Brexit itself is in danger, May is sending a blunt message to the dozens of hardline Brexiteers in her party that if they sink her premiership then they risk squandering the victory of an EU exit that they have dreamed about for decades.
Some pro-Brexit Conservatives fear that a deal could emerge that leaves Britain tightly bound to EU rules and represents a Brexit in name only.
The British government has also stepped up planning for a so called “no deal” Brexit that could spook financial markets and dislocate trade flows across Europe and beyond.
May has repeatedly said Brexit will happen and has ruled out a rerun of the 2016 referendum, although French President Emmanuel Macron and billionaire investor George Soros have suggested that Britain could still change its mind.
Seeking to strike a balance between those who want a smooth Brexit and those who fear staying too close to the EU’s orbit, May sought the approval of senior ministers for her plans on July 6.
After hours of talks at her Chequers country residence she appeared to have won over her cabinet, but just two days later David Davis resigned as Brexit secretary, followed by her foreign minister, Boris Johnson, the next day.
May called on Sunday for the country to back her plan for “friction-free movement of goods”, saying it was the only option to avoid undermining the peace in Northern Ireland and preserving the unity of the United Kingdom.
Johnson, the face of the Brexit campaign for many has remained silent in public since he warned in his resignation letter on July 9 that the “Brexit dream” was being suffocated by needless self-doubt.
When asked on Sunday if she would stand if a Conservative Party leadership contest was triggered, May declined to directly answer saying: “I am in this for the long term.”
The extent of the danger to May from rebels in her party will become clearer over the course of two debates in parliament this week.
Pro-Brexit lawmakers are expected to use a debate on Monday on customs legislation to try to force her to harden up her Brexit plan, while a debate on trade on Tuesday will see pro-EU lawmakers push for even closer ties with the bloc.
Brexiteer rebels are unlikely to have enough support in parliament to win a vote, but the debate will show how many in May’s party are prepared to vote against her at a time when some are looking to gather the numbers needed to challenge her leadership.
If May does clinch a Brexit deal with EU leaders, lawmakers could still vote it down.
Voting down a divorce deal so late in the process would trigger a major political crisis in Britain which would then be on course to crash out without any formal Brexit arrangements for trade, immigration and security.

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