President Donald Trump told British Prime Minister Theresa May on Tuesday that the United States would do a very substantial and fair deal with the United Kingdom after Brexit.
“I think we’ll have a very very substantial trade deal, it’ll be a very fair deal, and I think it’s something we both want to do,” Trump told May and business leaders at the start of a roundtable meeting. “We’re going to get it done.”
Trump thanked May for doing a fantastic job and said he didn’t know May’s timings but that she should stick around.
“I don’t know exactly what your timing is, but stick around. Let’s do this deal,” Trump said.
May is due to resign on Friday, but will remain in post while a contest is held to replace her.
The president and May were meeting British and American business leaders on the second day of Trump’s state visit to Britain. They will later hold a press conference.
“We are your largest partner… I think there’s a great opportunity to greatly enlarge that, especially now,” Trump said.
“Big Trade Deal is possible once U.K. gets rid of the shackles. Already starting to talk,” Trump tweeted Monday, as he launched his visit with a day of royal pomp and circumstance. He and first lady Melania Trump paid a visit to Buckingham Palace, where Queen Elizabeth II greeted them.
Britain is scheduled to leave the EU on Oct. 31 unless both sides agree to an extension. Its position is in flux because May is stepping down as party leader Friday, setting in motion a race to succeed her as prime minister.
It is traditional for U.S. and other world leaders to not weigh in on another’s domestic politics. But Trump hasn’t let that stop him. Trump told The Sunday Times in an interview that Britain should “walk away” from talks and refuse to pay a £39 billion ($49 billion) divorce bill if it doesn’t get better terms from the EU.
The president also says Brexit party leader Nigel Farage, an outspoken advocate of leaving the EU without a deal, should be given a role in the negotiations.
Trump has also taken the unusual step of saying that Conservative Party leadership candidate Boris Johnson would make an “excellent” leader for the U.K.
The meeting with business leaders will bring together 10 leading companies — five from the U..K. and five from the United States. They’ll explore where cooperation could benefit both sides.
CEOs and senior representatives from BAE Systems, GlaxoSmithKline, National Grid, Barclays, Reckitt Benckiser, JP Morgan, Lockheed Martin, Goldman Sachs International, Bechtel and Splunk are expected to attend.
Following Tuesday’s focus on business and trade, Trump will use the next two days to mark the 75th anniversary of the June 6, 1944, D-Day landing, likely the last significant commemoration most veterans of the battle will see. The events will begin in Portsmouth, England, where the invasion was launched, and then move across the Channel to France, where Allied forces began to recapture Western Europe from the Nazis.