President Donald Trump said that the United States and Britain will get a trade deal done after Brexit goes through.
Trump appeared with Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May, who is stepping down on Friday, June 4, to speak to the media while in London.
The state visit was promised by May in January 2017 when she became the first foreign leader to meet Trump after he took office.
Trump said that Britain’s break from the European Union, which May has struggled to finalize after voters approved the exit, would ultimately happen.
“I would think it will happen and it probably should happen. This is a great, great country and it wants its own identity, it wants to have its own borders, it wants to run its own affairs. This is a very, very special place,” Trump said.
“As the UK makes preparations to exit the European Union, the United States is committed to a phenomenal trade deal between the U.S. and the UK,” he added.
At another point, he said the deal would be substantial.
“I think we’ll have a very, very substantial trade deal,” said Trump, extolling its virtues for both nations. “I think that this is something we both want to do … we’re going to get it done.”
Trump suggested that May should not step down but also praised Boris Johnson, the lawmaker who is vying to be May’s replacement as the leader of the Conservative Party.
“I know Boris, I like him, I’ve liked him for a long time. I think he would do a very good job,” Trump said.
The president said that he declined to meet with Jeremy Corbyn, a socialist who leads the opposition Labour Party. He also praised Queen Elizabeth II, calling her a “fantastic woman.”
Trump was scheduled to meet face-to-face with Johnson but ended up speaking to him over the phone for about 20 minutes, sources told the Daily Mirror.
Before the press conference at the Foreign Office, President Trump, First Lady Melania Trump, May, and her husband Philip May walked into the building. President Trump and May smiled as they walked through the courtyard and briefly waved at reporters.
The first lady and Philip May attended a garden party in the prime minister’s Rose Garden, greeted by a row of children holding either a British or American flag.
Melania Trump hugged one of the children and accepted flowers from several of them.
“Who’s here from the United States?” FLOTUS asked the kids. A few raised their hands. She spoke to them about where they are from and what they like to do.
The party included ice cream, hot dogs, a lemonade stand, and a popcorn stand; the garden was decorated with red, white, and blue balloons.
Trump was wearing a belted light brown coat with a dark shirt underneath.
Tuesday’s events started with the president arriving at Buckingham Palace before going to St. James’s Palace to participate in a business roundtable. He and the first lady then went to No. 10 Downing Street to meet the Mays; an expanded bilateral meeting between Trump’s team and May’s team ensued before and during lunch, followed by the press conference.
The day also included a tour of the Churchill War Rooms.
Later Tuesday, the Trumps were slated to participate in a dinner with Prince Charles, the heir to the queen, and his wife Camila. A Monday dinner with Queen Elizabeth II included formal toasts.
The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.