President Donald Trump on Monday warned that the agreement allowing Britain to leave the European Union could endanger a future U.S.-U.K. trade deal.
His comments come at a time when British Prime Minister Theresa May is urgently looking to rally enough lawmakers to back her proposed Brexit deal in order to get it through Parliament in two weeks’ time — a daunting task given the broad criticism it has received.
Nonetheless, May has repeatedly insisted the terms in which the U.K. is set to leave the bloc at the end of March next year delivers for all of the British people.
When asked about the agreement between Westminster and the EU’s other 27 heads of state on Monday, Trump replied: “Sounds like a great deal for the EU.”
“I think we have to take a look seriously whether or not the U.K. is allowed to trade because right now if you look at the deal, they may not be able to trade with us,” Trump told reporters outside the White House.
“And that wouldn’t be a good thing. I don’t think they meant that,” he added.
The U.S. president seemed to suggest the current deal could potentially leave Britain unable to negotiate a free-trade agreement with the world’s largest economy post-Brexit. Trump did not specify which provision of the deal he was worried about.
Under the deal secured with EU leaders on Sunday, Britain will divorce the bloc with continued close trade ties. But a deeply divided British parliament means May is left facing an uphill battle to get the deal approved on December 11.
Downing Street did not immediately respond when contacted by CNBC Tuesday morning.