Trump: Farage should negotiate Brexit and 'walk away' without a deal

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By Alastair Jamieson  & Reuters
Trump: Farage should negotiate Brexit and 'walk away' without a deal
Copyright  REUTERS

On the eve of his state visit to the UK, Donald Trump said Britain should send Nigel Farage to negotiate Brexit with the European Union and “walk away” if it doesn't offer a deal.

The U.S. President and First Lady, Melania Trump, are due to arrive in London on Monday for a full state visit.

Their trip comes at the most fragile time in Britain, which is hopelessly divided over Brexit, and as the ruling Conservative party chooses a successor for Prime Minister Theresa May.

In an interview with the Sunday Times, Trump said Britain should refuse to pay the €50 billion divorce bill if Brussels does not give ground and should send arch-Brexiteer Farage to conduct talks.

“If they don’t get what they want, I would walk away,” he said. “If you don’t get a fair deal, you walk away.”

The candidates already in the Conservative leadership race are split between those willing to accept a “no-deal” and those opposed.

In the “no deal” camp are former foreign secretary Boris Johnson, whom Trump praised in an interview with The Sun newspaper on Friday, along with former Brexit minister Dominic Raab and home secretary Sajid Javid.

Trump said it was a mistake to ignore Farage after his success last month in the European Parliament elections.

“I like Nigel a lot. He has a lot to offer – he is a very smart person,” Trump said.