THERESA MAY has hit back at Donald Trump’s criticism of her Brexit deal by insisting a trade agreement with the US is possible.
The prime minister defended her embattled position after the US president dismissed Britain’s withdrawal agreement as a ‘great deal for the EU’ and suggested ‘they [the UK] may not be able to trade with us’.
But Mrs May revealed that trade talks with the US have already started, and said the EU recognised that Britain wants the freedom to strike its own deals with the rest of the world.
She said: ‘If you look at the political declaration that sets out the future framework for our relationship with the European Union it clearly identifies we will have an independent trade policy.’
It comes as Mrs May suffered another damaging blow when former defence secretary Sir Michael Fallon came out against the agreement, telling the BBC it offers the ‘worst of all worlds’ and is ‘doomed’ to defeat when MPs vote on December 11.
He said that ‘if the president of the United States says it’s going to be difficult, then it certainly looks like it’s going to be difficult’.
Mrs May spoke to farmers at the Royal Welsh Winter Fair in Powys yesterday as she started a nationwide tour to promote the deal.
She then headed to Northern Ireland where DUP leader Arlene Foster accused her of failing to secure a better deal.
‘She may have given up on further negotiations and trying to find a better deal but I have not given up,’ Mrs Foster said.
‘You have to be clear about what your vital interests are and that includes protecting the interests of the people of Northern Ireland.’ Her ten MPs, who prop up Mrs May’s minority government, have pledged to vote against a deal they say threatens to split Northern Ireland from the rest of the UK.
The PM visits Scotland today where first minister Nicola Sturgeon urged her to pursue a ‘Norway-style’ soft Brexit that would keep Britain in the customs union and single market.
Bookmaker Paddy Power is offering odds of 5/2 against Mrs May taking the deal through the House of Commons. Judges at the European Court of Justice are expected to decide within hours if the UK would be allowed to unilaterally change its mind about Brexit and withdraw its Article 50 notification.