Published On: Tue, Aug 13th, 2019

Trump waiting to take advantage of diminished Britain, says MEP | UK | News

Dutch MEP Sophie In’ t Veld said Washington’s pledge to offer Britain support after Brexit will not change the minds of European Union negotiators, who continue to refuse to renegotiate the hated withdrawal agreement. Instead she warned that a diminished Britain could fall victim to a one-sided trade deal under the terms of US President Mr Trump’s “America First” policy. Her intervention comes after John Bolton, the US national security adviser, said Washington will support a no-deal Brexit and work with Britain to seal sector-by-sector trade agreements.

The Whitehouse aide also attacked the EU, claiming that Brussels makes “peasants vote again and again” until they return the desired outcome of the elite.

Speaking to, Ms In ’t Veld said: “Of course, it is not going to be a negotiation between two equal partners.

“The President of the United States has his ‘America First’ motto – it’s not America first and the UK as well.”

She questioned whether Boris Johnson’s Government believe they will be strong enough to secure a US trade deal, with win-win benefits, after leaving the EU.

John Bolton

John Bolton said the US would sign sector-by-sector deals with the UK after Brexit (Image: GETTY)

John Bolton

John Bolton said Donald Trump would fast-track the UK deals after Brexit (Image: GETTY)

“The UK needs it more than the US,” she said.

“What makes the British Government think they have a good negotiating position?”

Ms In ’t Veld, a senior Liberal MEP, fears a UK-US trade deal will make creating a solution for the Irish border yet more difficult because of the lack of agricultural standards across the Atlantic.

US officials have previously warned their EU counterparts that any trade deal must include market access for agriculture.

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John Bolton

John Bolton said the US is ‘enthusiastically’ behind no-deal Brexit (Image: GETTY)

Brussels has expressed food safety concerns by allowing US food products onto its markets – such as chlorinated chicken or hormone-treated beef.

In the event of a no-deal Brexit, livestock and food products passing across the Irish border from the UK will need to be checked to ensure they meet the EU’s required standards.

“It’s not bringing a solution for the Irish border any closer,” Ms In’ t Veld said.

“The British Government has to do what the British Government has to do. But, it also must accept the consequences.

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Donald Trump

Donald Trump was a leaver before leavers existed, according to John Bolton (Image: GETTY)

Sophie In' t Veld

Dutch MEP Sophie In’ t Veld warns US won’t treat UK as an equal partner (Image: GETTY)

“They seem to think that the EU is somehow obliged to negotiate in the interest of the British Government. They don’t seem to understand, although we would really, really prefer for the UK to stay inside, if Brexit is going to happen, the EU will have to negotiate in the interest of 27 countries.

“Don’t believe for one second that the US Government is going to negotiate in the interest of British citizens – the one one who can do that is the British Government.

“The US has its own interests, the EU has its own interests, other players – China, India – have their own interests.

“Britain will be pretty much on its own. Maybe they can secure a good deal but it makes you wonder can it ever be as good as being in the internal market. Probably not.”

Five steps that led to Brexit

Five steps that led to Brexit (Image: EXPRESS)

Mr Bolton made his supportive remarks, in which he dismissed fears that Congress could block a trade deal over the repercussions of no deal on Ireland, after meeting with Mr Johnson.

He said: “We see a successful exit as being very much in our interests.

“Britain’s success in exiting the EU is a statement about democratic rule. The fashion in the European Union when the people vote the wrong way form the way the elite wants, you make the peasants vote again and again until they get it right.”

If the Government does force through a no-deal Brexit, the US “will support it enthusiastically,” he added.

“President Trump and I were leaves before there were leavers.”

Raising the prospect of sector-by-sector rolling trade deals, Mr Bolton said: “We want to move very quickly. We wish we could have moved further along with the previous government.

“We were ready to negotiate, we are ready to negotiate now. We see this as being on a fast track.”

Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson has been in weekly contact with Donald Trump since becoming Prime Minister (Image: GETTY)

“A prior American president said that if the United Kingdom left the European Union it would go to the back of the queue on trade deals.

“To be clear, in the Trump administration Britain is constantly at the front of the trade queue, or line as we say.”

Mr Bolton suggested the earlier deals could include manufacturing, including car-making, agreements while trickier elements such as financial services are left until a later date.

Ms In’ t Veld branded the American’s criticism of the EU’s democratic credentials “pathetic”.

She said: “That’s so pathetic. Which peasants? Would that be Nigel Farage, who was a banker in the City? Would that be Boris Johnson, the peasant from Eton? Would that be Donald Trump, the millionaire peasant?”

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