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Donald Trump insists leaving EU would have been a doddle

Helping hand: Donald Trump welcomes Leo Varadkar to the White House PICTURE: AP

DONALD TRUMP has said he is surprised at the way Brexit has been handled — and blamed Theresa May for ignoring his advice.

The US president, who welcomed Ireland’s leader Leo Varadkar to the White House yesterday, said Brexit was ‘tearing a lot of countries apart’ — but he thought another referendum would be ‘unfair’.

‘I’s a shame it has to be that way but I think we will stay right in our lane,’ said Mr Trump, who claimed ‘I’m not sure anybody knows’ what is happening.

The prime minister had previously revealed Mr Trump told her to ‘sue the EU’ and ‘not go into negotiations’. The president said: ‘I’m surprised at how badly it’s all gone from the standpoint of a negotiation.

‘I gave the prime minister my ideas on how to negotiate it and I think you would have been successful.

‘She didn’t listen to that and that’s fine — she’s got to do what she’s got to do.

‘I think it could have been negotiated in a different manner, frankly. I hate to see everything being ripped apart now.’

On the prospect of another referendum, he said: ‘I don’t think another vote would be possible because it would be very unfair to the people that won. They’d say “What do you mean, you’re going to take another vote?” So that would be tough. I thought it would happen, it did happen, and both sides are very, very cemented in. It’s a tough situation. It’s a shame.

‘There was no reason for that to happen. They could have had the vote and it should have gone smoothly and unfortunately it didn’t.’

Mr Trump said he would like to see Brexit ‘work out’, adding, ‘we are talking with them about trade and we can do a very big trade deal with the UK’.

Asked for his ‘feelings on Brexit’ Mr Varadkar replied: ‘We have a different opinion, Mr President. I regret that Brexit’s happening.’