A European source informed several media outlets that Donald Trump has expressed his concern on the consequences of Brexit on jobs in the United States (US). This took place during his working meeting with European leaders yesterday morning (Thursday).
He may thus have done a U-turn, having previously extolled the virtues of the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union (EU). He was very positive about Brexit both during his presidential campaign and after he was sworn in.
During his presidential election campaign, Mr Trump welcomed the British decision to leave the EU. He went so far as to predict the disintegration of the EU, prophesying that “other countries (would probably) leave” following Britain’s example.
At the beginning of April he said, “I may have thought, when it happened, that other countries would follow suit. However I genuinely believe that the EU is in the process of pulling together.” Nevertheless, at that time, he continued to maintain that Brexit remained “a great thing for the United Kingdom, and also a very, very good thing for the EU.”
European officials have commented, during recent weeks, that the U.S. Administration does appear to have a better appreciation of European integration. Anonymous American sources are saying that the negotiations for the TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) agreement could resume more quickly than those relating to a free trade deal with the United Kingdom.
The German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, may already have convinced Donald Trump of the benefits of an EU-USA treaty compared to a trade agreement with Britain. Equally on Wednesday, Charles Michel was confident of his own influence over the American President on the issue.
The leader of UKIP, Nigel Farage, a staunch supporter of Brexit, was one of the first foreign politicians to meet Donald Trump after his victory in the presidential election. The British Prime Minister, Theresa May, also met Mr Trump just a week after he was sworn in.