G7 LIVE: Trump mocks 'unhappy' Theresa May with promise Boris will unshackle UK from EU


When asked what advice he could offer his British counterpart on Brexit negotiations, the US president said none was needed and added that he had been insisting for a while that Mr Johnson was the best person for the job, much to the dismay of Theresa May. The two men spoke promisingly about a post-Brexit free trade agreement after holding talks on Saturday in the French seaside town of Biarritz where the G7 summit is taking place. At a breakfast meeting between the two pair and their teams, the Republican president said he foresaw a deal happening “pretty quickly”.

Mr Trump said: “He needs no advice, he’s the right man for the job. I’ve been saying that for a long time – didn’t make your predecessor very happy –  but I’ve been saying it for a long time.

“He’s the right man for the job.”

Mr Johnson responded by saying: “I’m very grateful for that,” as Mr Trump offered him a little wink.

Mr Trump suggested his administration were hindered from pursuing a trade deal while Theresa May was in Downing Street, saying: “Before I was sort of stymied by the other side because nothing got done on the other side, as you’ve seen from Brexit.

“But this is a different person and this is a person that’s going to be a great prime minister, in my opinion.”

Mr Trump said of their meeting: “We’re having very good trade talks between the UK and ourselves, you wouldn’t believe.”

“A very big trade deal, bigger than we’ve ever had with the UK and now… they won’t have the obstacle of, they won’t have the anchor around their ankle because that’s what they had. And we’re going to have some very good trade talks.”

The prime minister said he and Mr Trump had agreed to keep the NHS off the table during their “pretty comprehensive talks” on future trade between the two nations.

READ MORE: Boris warns UK won’t pay EU’s £39 billion Brexit ‘divorce bill’

 

It was the face-to-face meeting between the two leaders who have been likened to each other on everything from their hair to their lack of political correctness.

Mr Johnson is due to sit down with Donald Tusk at 11.20am on Sunday.

He is expected to warn Mr Tusk that the UK will withhold £30 billion of the £39 billion divorce bill if a no deal Brexit is brought about.

On Saturday the European Council President said the prime minister would go down in history as “Mr No Deal” if he crashed the UK out of the bloc, while Mr Johnson hit back saying it would in fact be Mr Tusk who would be remembered as “Mr No Deal Brexit”.

See below for live updates.

9.54am update: Trump says ‘it’s possible’ Putin will receive G7 invite

Mr Trump said he had discussed the possibility of inviting Russia’s President Vladimir Putin to next year’s G7 summit, which he will host in the US.

In 2014 Russia was thrown out of the group, formerly known as the G8, over its annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula Crimea.

Mr Trump’s comments came a day after Mr Tusk criticised the American leader for last year suggesting Mr Putin should be allowed back into the group, regardless of his actions.

The European Council president recalled the American leader’s remarks at the 2018 G7 summit in Quebec, Canada.

Mr Trump told reporters: “That I don’t know. We did discuss it. We had a very good discussion on Russia and President Putin and a lively discussion, but really a good one.

“And it’s certainly possible.”

9.49am update: Trump and Johnson hope Brexit will ‘deepen’ UK-US relationship

Mr Trump and Mr Johnson have issued a joint statement after their dinner meeting in Biarritz on Saturday evening.

The pair joined together in their hopes that Brexit would result in a “deepening” of the relationship between their two countries.

The statement read: “Today, President Donald J. Trump and Prime Minister Boris Johnson met in the margins of the G7 summit in Biarritz, France.

“They celebrated the enduring special relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom, and reaffirmed the value of transatlantic partnership.

“The president and the prime minister noted the unique depth of the security and defence partnership between the two countries, and the benefits it brings to each. They committed to increasing the co-operation between the two sovereign nations.

“President Trump and Prime Minister Johnson also discussed how the United Kingdom leaving the European Union presents many opportunities for deepening our already robust economic and commercial relationship, including a comprehensive trade agreement.

“The leaders acknowledged the importance of free, fair and reciprocal trade, and discussed opportunities for deepening our trading relationship in the future based on mutual respect for these principles.

“The president and prime minister also discussed the important role of investment in our respective economies and noted American investment in the United Kingdom is responsible for more than one million British jobs and British investment in the United States is responsible for more than one million American jobs.”

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9.44am update: Trump and Johnson tuck into veal sausages

At their working breakfast, the two leaders were served veal sausages, scrambled eggs, toast as well as pastries and seasonal fruits.

The pair were joined by members of their administrations at the Hotel du Palais in Biarritz.

9.35am update: Brexiteer rubbishes suggestion UK will have to choose between US and EU

Tory MP John Redwood has said it is ‘nonsense’ to suggest the UK will be forced to choose between the EU and the US after Brexit.

He tweeted: “The EU depends on NATO for its defence, needing US support. It’s nonsense to say the UK has to choose the EU and reject the USA for its future. We can be independent and have good relations with both.”

Mr Redwood said anyone implying that the UK will find itself torn between the soon-to-be 27-member bloc and America is plain wrong.

He said: “Those Remain MPs and EU politicians who tell us the UK has to choose between being a colony of the EU or of the USA are wrong.

“We voted to be an independent country like many others who do not belong to the EU. We will trade with both the EU and the USA, with or without an FTA.”

9.29am update: UK-US trade talks will have ‘politically sensitive’ nature

Former British Ambassador to Japan Sir David Warren told Sky News he predicts trade talks between the Johnson and Trump administrations willl be “complex” and “politically sensitive”.

9.19am update: Johnson enjoys early morning swim before Trump meeting

Before heading to a meeting with the leader of the US, Mr Johnson was joined by the UK ambassador to France, Ed Llewellyn, for an early morning swim in the sea.

According to reports, the pair swam round a rock on the Biarritz shore while French police on surfboards lingered nearby for protection.

9.15am update: Trump claims G7 members want to emulate his trade tactics

When questioned about how he felt about the way the global market has reacted to the US-China trade war. Mr Trump said he was not concerned.

He said: “The market’s doing great, our country’s doing great. Everybody was telling me yesterday, people are trying to copy the formula.

“We cut taxes way down, we got rid of the regulations, large numbers, more than any president has ever gotten rid of, and we’re doing very well, our country’s doing fantastically well.”

Mr Johnson chimed in, saying: “I congratulate the president on everything that the American economy is achieving. It’s fantastic to see that.”

But he added that the UK “is in favour of trade peace” and “we don’t like tariffs.

9.11am update: Trump says G7 allies not pressuring him to end China trade war

Mr Trump has insisted his fellow G7 members have not urged him to pull back from the escalating trade war with China, just a day after Mr Johnson said he would encourage the US leader to end the dispute.

When asked if he had been told to pull back on the tariffs he has imposed on Chinese imports to the US, Mr Trump said: “No, not at all, I haven’t heard anything. I think they respect the trade war – it has to happen.

“China has been, I can only speak for the United States, I can’t say what they’ve been doing to the UK and to other places, but from the standpoint of the United States what they’ve done is outrageous.”

“Presidents and administrations allowed them to get away with taking hundreds of billions of dollars out every year, putting it into China, so the answer is: nobody’s told me that, nobody would tell me that.”

Mr Trump said he “might as well” step the trade war up a notch but said that although “in many ways it’s an emergency” he does not have a plan to declare a national emergency over the issue anytime soon.

He claimed that despite the spat, his administration was “getting along very well” with Beijing and was working on a trade deal.

He said as a result of the tariffs he has slapped on Chinese goods, billions of dollars were coming into his country compared to in the past when the US “never got 10 cents from China”.



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