Theresa May, U.K. prime minister, left, and U.S. President Donald Trump. (Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg)

Trump Says He'd Be `Tougher' Than May in Brexit Talks With EU

(Bloomberg) -- Donald Trump has criticized the way U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May is negotiating Brexit, saying he would take a “tougher” line with the European Union in the talks.

Only three days after putting on a show of unity with May at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Trump risked reopening the wounds in the so-called “special relationship” between Britain and America.

In an interview with ITV’s Piers Morgan, he said he would have taken “a different attitude” to the Brexit negotiations with the EU.

“Would it be the way I’d negotiate? No, I wouldn’t negotiate it the way it’s negotiated,” Trump said in an interview to be broadcast in full later on Sunday. “I would have said that the European Union is not cracked up to what it’s supposed to be and I would have taken a tougher stand in getting out.”

Trump’s comments will disappoint May’s office after the two leaders tried to patch up their differences during a mini-summit in the Swiss resort on Thursday. Such an outspoken critique of May’s Brexit policy from the U.S. president also threatens to weaken May further at home.

She’s under pressure from Brexit-supporting lawmakers in her Conservative party who fear she will fail to deliver the decisive break with the EU that they want.

Trump is due to make a trip to the U.K. later this year, though no date has yet been set for the full state visit he’s been offered.

In the interview extract released in advance, Trump told Morgan he had “a lot of respect for your prime minister and I think that you’re doing a job” on Brexit. But he saved his warmest words for his “friend,” the French President Emmanuel Macron. “He’s a great guy, his wife is fantastic, I like him a lot,” Trump said.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.