Trump: Brexit debate is 'tearing country apart'

US president says he offered advice to Theresa May on the Brexit deal but the UK prime minister did not listen to him.

    Trump, speaking with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar in the Oval Office of the White House on Thursday, says another Brexit vote would be unfair [Evan Vucci/AP Photo]
    Trump, speaking with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar in the Oval Office of the White House on Thursday, says another Brexit vote would be unfair [Evan Vucci/AP Photo]

    US President Donald Trump has said Britain's debate over leaving the European Union is "tearing the country apart".

    Trump said he was "surprised at how badly" the negotiations have been handled. The US president, who sees himself as a master deal-maker, said he gave advice to British Prime Minister Theresa May but that she did not listen to him.

    He said both sides are very "cemented in" and he called it a "tough situation" and a "shame".

    On Thursday, the UK Parliament voted in favour of delaying the UK's departure from the EU which was scheduled to take place on March 29.

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    Trump's comments were made as he welcomed Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar to the White House for an early St Patrick's Day celebration.

    The leaders met in the Oval Office before being hosted by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi at the Capitol for the annual "Friends of Ireland" lunch.

    Trump's Capitol Hill visit came hours before the Republican-controlled Senate voted to reverse the Republican president's national emergency, which he declared last month to free up money to build his signature promise of a wall across the US-Mexico border

    The Democratic-run House, led by Pelosi, voted last month to block the declaration.

    Trump added that he opposed another Brexit referendum, saying it would be "unfair" to those who won in 2016.

    He added that his administration "looks forward to negotiating a large scale Trade Deal with the United Kingdom" as the country continues to try to hash out its departure from the European Union.

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    SOURCE: News agencies