Donald Trump blasts May over her handling of Brexit - ‘She didn’t listen!’

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar speaking at the US Chamber of Commerce in Washington DC during his visit to the US Credit Brian Lawless  PA Wire

The US President said he is surprised at how badly Brexit negotiations have gone, saying it is "tearing countries apart". Mr Trump made the comments during a press conference with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar in the Oval Office yesterday.

"The president, who described Brexit as a" lovely, attractive thing" during a visit to Scotland in June 2016, said the UK's divorce from the European Union is "tearing apart" Britain and other member states which he believes is "a shame".

I gave the Prime Minister my ideas on how to negotiate it and I think you would have been successful. "I hate to see it being - everything being ripped apart right now", Trump said, adding that holding a second referendum "would be very unfair to the people that won".

Trump said it's unlikely the British could take another vote but he would like to see it worked out so the U.S. could do a "very big trade deal" with the United Kingdom in the future.

"We have a different opinion, president", Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said mildly.

He said he told Mr Trump there was an opportunity for an EU-US trade deal. Varadkar opposes Britain's European Union exit and expressed concern about how such a move would affect Northern Ireland.

"She's got to do what she's got to do but I think it could have been negotiated in a different manner, frankly".

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Meanwhile, at the traditional St Patrick's Day shamrock ceremony at the White House, Mr Varadkar praised Mr Trump for the results of his efforts to "Make America Great Again".

Trump has previously been critical of May's Brexit deal, warning that it could "kill" a bilateral trade agreement between the United States and the UK. "I regret that Brexit's happening".

Parliament has twice now rejected the withdrawal agreement May negotiated with the European Union, though it voted this week against leaving without a deal in place. Irish leaders say a new formal border would put profitable commerce at risk and invoke the ghosts of the bloody conflicts in Northern Ireland known as the Irish Troubles.

Mr Trump has said he will be visiting the Republic of Ireland at some point this year.

"I thought it would happen, it did happen, and both sides are very, very cemented in. But they're going now and that's their decision", Varadkar said, adding that the negotiations shouldn't cause any problems in Northern Ireland.

"And I don't believe my country is the only one in the world where this story is possible".

Turning to Mr Varadkar, he said: "Leo, I'm sure you agree on that".

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