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Britain will have to choose whether the United States or the European Union could benefit it more economically once it leaves the EU in March of next year, according to a US-based political analyst.
“Britain is now essentially caught in the middle between the United States and the European Union,” said Keith Preston a political analyst from Virginia.
British Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal has worried US president Donald Trump because it could put the EU in a more favorable position for Britain than the US, Preston said.
In remarks late on Monday, Trump slammed the Brexit deal and said it would benefit the EU while damaging the UK’s ability to trade with the US.
“Sounds like a great deal for the EU” he said at the White House.
“We have to take a look at seriously whether or not the UK is allowed to trade. You know, right now, if you look at the deal, they may not be able to trade with us, and that wouldn’t be a good thing,” Trump said.
The British government furiously reacted to Trump’s interventionist remarks, saying it was wrong to say that London will not be able to reach its own trade arrangement with Washington under the deal reached between Britain and the EU last week.
Preston said Trump, as a president known for his “hawkish” stance on trade, especially with the EU, is of the idea that the terms of the Brexit agreement will prevent Britain from engaging in certain trade activity with the US.
He said it was not clear whether Trump really believed in those claims or was just using them as a tactic to drive a wedge between Britain and the EU.
“What is Trump is doing essentially he is using a negotiating tactic. He wants to negotiate a trade arrangement with England which is currently being developed…” he said, adding that Trump’s criticism of the Brexit deal could also be a “rhetorical weapon” against the EU.
The expert said that May’s government is going to feel huge pressure from both the EU and the US as the two would do their best to develop more stable trade ties with Britain.
“Europe actually has more wealth and a denser population than the United States as far as the entirety of the European Union is concerned although the US has the world’s largest economy of any nation,” he said.
Preston concluded that his believed Britain could finally end up finding itself in a closer trade arrangement with the US as the distance between Washington and the EU keeps growing over various issues, including on trade, NATO and issues of international relations.