U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday urged British Prime Minister Theresa May not to resign so they can get a trade deal done while crowds of protesters and a 20-foot baby Trump blimp took over central London.
Trump said he wants to reach a “very, very substantial trade deal” between the United States and Britain after Britain exits the European Union.
“I don’t exactly know what your timing is, but stick around. Let’s do this deal,” Trump told May in a joint news conference. “It will be a very fair deal and I think that this is something that your folks want to do, my folks want to do, and we want to do and we’re going to get it done.”
May has been under fire after several unsuccessful attempts to get a Brexit deal passed in Parliament. She has announced her resignation as of Friday. The crowd chuckled as Trump pleaded with her to stay in office.
“It’s a great pleasure to welcome leaders of so many world-class companies … and, of course, our honored guest, President Trump, who knows a thing or two about business himself,” May said.
When asked at the press conference to weigh in on Brexit, Trump said he believed it would pass all along, mainly because of immigration.
“I believe it would be good for the country, yes,” Trump said.
May said it’s critical that Parliament reach an agreement on Brexit as voters requested.
“We have a great deal. Sadly, the Labor Party and other [members of Parliament] have stopped us from delivering in that deal,” May said. “Once we’re out of the European Union we will be able to do what we’ve been talking about today and develop not just that free trade agreement but a broader economic partnership into the future.”
The two world leaders also talked about their differing opinions on the Iran nuclear deal. May said it’s clear they want to reach the same goal.
“We can also differ sometimes on how to confront the challenges we face. I’ve always talked openly with you, Donald, when we take a different approach. And you’ve done the same with me,” May said. “Today we’ve discussed again the importance of our two nations working together to address Iran’s destabilizing activity in the region and to ensure Tehran cannot acquire a nuclear weapon.”
On NATO, May said countries have pledged $100 billion in additional funding, a key criticism of Trump’s on the alliance.
“They must fulfill their obligations,” Trump said.
Trump, asked about his threat to levy tariffs on Mexico over immigration, said they will most likely go into effect next week.
“I think it’s more likely that the tariffs go on … Mexico shouldn’t allow millions of people to try to enter our country and they could stop it very quickly,” Trump said. “And if they won’t, we’re going to put tariffs on them.”
Trump continued talks with May at her residence at 10 Downing St.
His U.K. visit was met with a large throng of protesters — and the famous “baby blimp,” a 20-foot balloon depicting Trump in a diaper — at Parliament Square.
The protesters are following Trump wherever he goes in London and have vowed to bring the central part of the city to standstill.
While Trump and first lady Melania Trump attended a lavish state dinner with Queen Elizabeth II on Monday at Buckingham Palace, activists outside carried signs that read “Don’t attack Iran” and “Trump out, Tories out.”
Tuesday’s protests, led by Together Against Trump, vowed to be even larger. Protesters rallied against what they call Trump’s “divisive and hateful politics” against climate change, migrants rights, women’s rights, LGBT rights and union rights.
Labor Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn was set to speak at the main protest.
“[It’s] an opportunity to stand in solidarity with those he’s attacked in America, around the world and in our own country,” he tweeted Monday.
Corbyn criticized tweets from Trump Monday that insulted London Mayor Sadiq Khan as a “stone cold loser who should focus on crime in London.” Khan had said it would be “un-British” to roll out the red carpet for Donald Trump.”
Trump called Corbyn a “negative force” and said he declined the invitation to meet the British politician.
“I think people should look to do things correctly as opposed to criticize,” Trump said.
Some protesters vowed to throw milkshakes at Trump if they could get close enough.
Trump was asked about the protesters but he said he mostly saw people cheering for him, saying he saw a small group of protesters.
“A lot of it is fake news, I hate to say,” Trump said.
Monday night’s state dinner included several members of the Trump and royal families, who celebrated with their national anthems and toasts of friendship.
Melania Trump wore an ivory silk crepe gown with silk tulle details by Dior Haute Couture, along with over-the-elbow white gloves. Her hair was pulled up in a chignon. Queen Elizabeth II wore a white dress with ruby and diamonds. Prince Charles, his wife Camilla Parker Bowles, Prince William and Kate Middleton and Trump’s four adult children also attended.
On Wednesday, Trump will visit Portsmouth and France to commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day, which Trump called “history’s most important battle.”
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