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U.S. President Donald Trump advised British Prime Minister Theresa May to sue the European Union instead of negotiating with the bloc, as part of her Brexit strategy.
“He told me I should sue the EU,” May told BBC television. “Sue the EU. Not go into negotiations — sue them.”
Her revelation about how Trump advised her ended several days of speculation about what advice the U.S. leader had offered the prime minister.
Trump said last week in an interview with The Sun newspaper that he had given May advice, but she did not follow it. The president told the newspaper ahead of his meeting with May that she “didn’t listen” to him.
“I would have done it much differently. I actually told Theresa May how to do it but she didn’t agree, she didn’t listen to me. She wanted to go a different route,” Trump said.
Trump did not reveal what advice he offered May in a press conference with her Friday. Instead, he said, “I think she found it too brutal.”
He added, “I could fully understand why she thought it was tough. And maybe someday she’ll do that. If they don’t make the right deal, she may do what I suggested, but it’s not an easy thing.”
May also told the BBC that the president had advised her not to walk away from the negotiations “because then you’re stuck.”
For the past few months, British politics have been obscured by squabbling, irritability and bravado about how, when and on what terms Britain will exit the European Union, and what the country’s relationship will be with its largest trading partner after Brexit.
Britons narrowly voted to leave the EU in a referendum in June 2016.