Donald Trump has said the White House is planning a “big and exciting” trade deal with the UK after Brexit because “you don’t hear the word Britain anymore”.
In an interview the US President said he had a “very good relationship with the Prime Minister” and said he was “absolutely looking to do a major trade deal”.
Asked if he could say more about the plans, Mr Trump said: “No, but I can say that we’re going to be very involved with the UK. I mean, you don’t hear the word Britain anymore. It’s very interesting. It’s like, nope.”
Elsewhere during the interview, Mr Trump referred to his son-in-law Jared Kushner as a “good boy”, during a conversation about alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election, and he talked at length about golf.
The Wall Street Journal has not published a full transcript of the interview, which was largely conducted by the paper’s editor-in-chief, Gerard Baker.
The paper reportedly warned employees that leaking the full version would be a “breach of trust”. Nonetheless, it was leaked and the full version was posted by US website Politico.
The interview reveals a friendly rapport between Mr Baker and the President.
When asked by Mr Baker about the nature of a trade deal with the UK, the President said it could include agricultural and financial services elements, and could even be put into action as soon as Brexit happens.
He said: “It’ll be a big trade deal – much, much more business than we do right now, many, many times.”
Mr Trump also said the EU was an obstacle to trade, describing it as “very, very protectionist”, and “very unfair”.
“We have farm products that you just can’t get into the EU. And we don’t do that to them,” Mr Trump said.
Pressed on what the agricultural component of a trade deal with the UK would look like, Mr Trump did not answer the question directly. He said: “Well, I’ll tell you. You know, I did – I did thing that nobody even wrote about … But when I was with President Xi, who I have a very good relationship with, I said: ‘Do me a favour. Would you allow cattle, please, to come in?’ I was last night in West Virginia, and I had farmers coming up to me and hugging me and kissing me because of the cattle stuff. They actually weren’t from West Virginia, they were from other places.”
Mr Trump also voiced concern about whether a second Scottish independence referendum could have an impact on the British Open golf championship.
The President asked: “Is Scotland going to go for the vote, by the way? You don’t see it. It would be terrible. They just went through hell.”
Donald Trump’s international Presidential trips
After Mr Baker said he did not think Scotland would seek another referendum, Mr Trump said: “One little thing, what would they do with the British Open if they ever got out? They’d no longer have the British Open.
“Scotland. Keep it in Scotland,” he added.
Mr Trump has made considerable investments in golf in Scotland, including his resorts the Trump International Golf Links and the Trump Turnberry.