Sunday, April 21, 2019 | ePaper
"Democracy in UK all but dead": Trump Jr slams PM May over Brexit
Donald Trump Jr. criticised Theresa May's latest plan to request a delay to Brexit.
US President Donald Trump's eldest son rebuked UK Prime Minister Theresa May over her faltering Brexit tactics Tuesday, claiming she had unnecessarily prolonged Britain's EU withdrawal by ignoring his father's advice.
In a biting op-ed in the eurosceptic Daily Telegraph newspaper, Donald Trump Jr. criticised the British premier's latest plan to request a delay to Brexit, saying it signalled "that democracy in the UK is all but dead".
"Mrs May ignored advice from my father, and ultimately, a process that should have taken only a few short months has become a years-long stalemate, leaving the British people in limbo," Trump Jr. stated.
"Now, the clock has virtually run out and almost all is lost-exactly as the European elites were hoping."
The comments come the week after the American president himself spoke out on Brexit, saying May "didn't listen" to his ideas on how to negotiate and that he was "surprised to see how badly it has all gone".
Britain is scheduled to leave the European Union on March 29 but is mired in division and perpetual political crisis about how to go about it.
The prime minister is set to seek a delay to the country's departure at an EU summit starting Thursday after MPs twice rejected an unpopular divorce deal she struck with the bloc last year.
In his Telegraph article, Trump Jr. argued such the move would ignore "the will of the people".
"Since 2016, Prime Minister Theresa May has promised on more than 50 separate occasions that Britain would leave the EU on March 29, 2019," he stated. "She needs to honour that promise."
The president's son said the issue mattered to Americans because "Brexit is an example of how the establishment elites try to subvert the will of the people when they're given the chance".
"The people of both the UK and the US must reaffirm the decisions they made in 2016 (votes) to stand up for themselves against the global elite," Trump Jr. added.
While the United Kingdom remains divided over Brexit, most agree that it will shape the prosperity of generations to come and, if it goes badly, could undermine the West and threaten London's position as the dominant global financial capital.
The loss of Britain for the EU is the biggest blow yet to more than 60 years of effort to forge European unity in the wake of two world wars, though the 27 other members of the bloc have shown surprising unity during the tortuous negotiations.
Britain's almost three-year crisis over Brexit has left allies and investors puzzled by a country that for decades seemed a confident pillar of Western economic and political stability.
While the bloc hoped for an amicable divorce of its most distant member, there is growing frustration that May is losing control over Britain's most important political and economic decision since at least the 1956 Suez crisis.
EU leaders are expected to discuss May's request for a Brexit delay at a summit in Brussels on Thursday and Friday.
European Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker said the EU has done much to accommodate Britain and can go no further.
"There will be no renegotiations, no new negotiations, no additional guarantees in addition to those already given," Juncker told Germany's Deutschlandfunk radio. "We have intensively moved toward Britain, there can be no more."
He said as far as he knew, a letter from May seeking a delay to Brexit to the EU had not yet arrived.
EU diplomats said the 27 leaders will give May a mid-April deadline to decide whether the UK would take part in European Parliament elections in May. Without that, Britain would not get a long Brexit delay, they said.
The divorce deal May agreed with the EU in November has been crushed twice by the British parliament, by 230 votes on Jan. 15 and 149 votes on March 12, though May hopes to put the deal to another vote, possibly as early as next week.
"There is a case for giving parliament a bit more time to agree a way forward," the Downing Street source said.
"But the people of this country have been waiting nearly three years now," the source said. "They are fed up with parliament's failure to take a decision and the PM shares their frustration."
She needs to win over at least 75 lawmakers - dozens of rebels in her own Conservative Party, some Labour lawmakers and the Northern Irish Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), which props up her minority government.
May's premiership has been characterized by obduracy in the face of repeated crises, but her authority was in meltdown on the eve of the EU summit with reports that she admitted at a cabinet meeting that rivals wanted her job.