Brexit: Trump says May's deal 'more difficult' for US-UK trade

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Media captionTrump: Brexit agreement “great deal for EU”

Donald Trump has suggested the Brexit deal struck by Theresa May may make US-UK trade more difficult.

The US president did not specify which aspect of the deal concerned him but told reporters the withdrawal agreement “sounds like a great deal for the EU”.

No 10 insisted the deal is “very clear we will have an independent trade policy so that the UK can sign trade deals with countries around the world”.

Mrs May spent Monday afternoon enduring heavy criticism of the deal from MPs.

Hours later, Mr Trump told reporters outside the White House: “We have to take a look seriously whether or not the UK is allowed to trade.

“Because right now if you look at the deal, they may not be able to trade with us. And that wouldn’t be a good thing. I don’t think they meant that.”

It is not clear where the president got his information. Under the withdrawal agreement struck by Mrs May, the UK would continue to trade with the US – albeit under EU rules – until at least the end of the “transition period” in December 2020.

Billions of pounds in trade already flows between the UK and US – Britain’s largest single export market.

In 2016, trade with the US was worth nearly £100bn.

EU trade rules currently prevent the UK forging what some might view as a more advantageous bilateral trade deal with Washington.

Mr Trump’s comments came hours after Mrs May endured sustained criticism of the deal from MPs on all sides of the Commons.

However, the UK prime minister insisted the deal “delivered for the British people” by regaining control of laws, money and borders.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said Mrs May had brought home a “botched deal” that would “leave the UK worse off”.

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