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24 April 2024

Trump admires May 'in there fighting' on Brexit


President Donald Trump has offered encouragement to British Prime Minister Theresa May, who promised to quit if lawmakers approve the latest version of her Brexit deal with the European Union.

Speaking to reporters at the White House on Thursday, Trump called May a friend and said he wished her well with the "Brexit movement and everything happening there."

Trump said: "She's a very good woman, and I'll tell you what, she's strong, she's tough, she's in there fighting."

Photo: AP

The U.S. president previously has made comments about May and Brexit that were seen in Britain as insults that undercut the prime minister.

Earlier this month, he said he was "surprised at how badly" the Brexit negotiations were handled and that May didn't listen to advice he offered her.

Britain's May seeks to save Brexit after pledge to quit

British Prime Minister Theresa May sought Thursday to salvage her unpopular EU divorce deal after another day of political drama that saw her offer to resign and the fractured parliament fail to find a way out of the Brexit chaos.

Mounting tensions and frustrations over Britain's inability to leave the EU three years after a divisive referendum culminated Wednesday in May's decision to play her trump card and promise to stand down as premier if her plan is passed.

EU leaders last week offered Britain a Brexit extension until May 22, but only on condition that parliament votes through the deal by Friday, the day Britain was originally scheduled to leave the European Union.

If the parliamentary vote does not take place, May will have to spell out to EU leaders what steps Britain will take by a deadline of April 12, or risk crashing out of the bloc without any arrangements in place.

May's resignation pledge played on rivalries that have been driving much of the resistance to her vision for ending the 46-year EU partnership from the fiercely eurosceptic wing of her Conservative party.

"I know there is a desire for a new approach - and new leadership - in the second phase of the Brexit negotiations and I won't stand in the way of that," May told a packed meeting of party members Wednesday.

Her promise immediately turned the votes of some likely contenders for the job she took on shortly after the referendum in which Britons narrowly voted to leave the EU.