Donald Trump has criticised Theresa May's Brexit deal as a "great deal for the EU" that may make it difficult for the UK to trade with the US, the latest blow to the embattled British Prime Minister's attempts to guide Britain out of the European Union.
On Monday, the American president said that May's proposal, which British MPs will vote for in December, would mean that "we have to take a look at seriously whether or not the UK is allowed to trade [with the US]," and urged May "to do something about that."
His remarks, which Sky News shared a video of on Twitter, are likely to inflame Eurosceptic backbench Tory MPs' attitudes towards May, and make it even harder for her to get her proposed deal through Parliament. Labour has already said it will not support the deal, and many Conservative MPs have said they will oppose it, with some observers predicting May will not have the numbers to ultimately pass it.
"It sounds like a great deal for the EU," Trump said. "I think we have to take a look at seriously whether or not the UK is allowed to trade, because you know, 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, I don't think the Prime Minister meant that, and hopefully she'll be able to do something about it. But right now, as the deal stands, she may not be able to trade with the US, and I don't think they want that at all."
The UK's future trading relationship with the US has been a recurrent issue throughout the Brexit negotiation process. Brexit supporters have pushed for a deal that will allow a smooth flow of trade between the two countries, while critics have worried that dong so would require a lowering of standards to include products like chlorine-washed chicken and chocolate contaminated with insect parts.
UK Trade Secretary Liam Fox has denied that the UK will lower its food standards after Brexit, but has not ruled out changing standards in order to strike new trade deals around the world. He said in November 2017 he had "no objection" to UK consumers eating products which are currently banned by the EU after Brexit, like chlorine-washed chicken.
Business Insider revealed in September that Fox and Crawford Falconer, the UK's chief trade negotiation adviser, have privately discussed rewriting UK food standards through the upcoming Trade Bill, using contentious "Henry VIII" powers.
Theresa May's Brexit deal will be voted on by MPs on December 11.
Also from Business Insider South Africa: