At the G7 meeting in the French town of Biarritz, President Trump made vague, unspecified promises to Britain about how it would have itself a tremendous trade deal once it finally fulfills its promise to exit the European Union — despite the fact that neither the U.K. nor the EU have any idea what the final outcome of Brexit will look like.
“We’re having very good trade talks between the U.K. and ourselves. We’re going to do a very big trade deal, bigger than we’ve ever had with the UK,” Trump said. “At some point… they won’t have the anchor around their ankle, because that’s what they had. So, we’re going to have some very good trade talks and big numbers.”
The President added on Sunday that he and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson were also discussing “lots of fantastic mini-deals” and that they were “having a good time”. Again he did not offer specifics.
Meeting Johnson was reportedly one of the few bright spot for Trump at the G-7. On Thursday the Washington Post reported that the President had repeatedly complained to his aides about having to attend the annual meeting, and that Johnson was one of the few people he was looking forward to seeing.
It didn’t help matters that Trump is currently engaged in several diplomatic spats. In addition to the ongoing trade war with China, Trump angered EU officials by suggesting that Russia should be re-allowed into the G-7 (it was kicked out after the invasion of Crimea in 2014). Trump had also caused anger earlier this week with his bizarre suggestion that the U.S. should buy Greenland, which is a protectorate of Denmark.
Despite the fact that Johnson once said that Trump was “betraying a quite stupefying ignorance that makes him frankly unfit to hold the office of president of the United States,” Johnson lathered praise upon Trump, saying that he wanted to “actually congratulate the president on everything that the American economy is achieving, it’s fantastic to see that.”
Johnson, however, is facing plenty of problems of his own when it comes to delivering Brexit, as he is now the third Conservative Prime Minister to be ensnared by this labyrinthine problem. After previously saying that the odds of a potentially economically devastating no-deal Brexit were a “million to one,” Johnson told the BBC at the G7 meeting that it was now “touch and go,” and that it “all depends on our EU friends and partners.”
One example of the intricacies is the Irish border. Johnson had previously appealed to the EU to drop a “backstop” agreement which would prevent a hard-border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. But the U.S. has warned that such an undermining of the Northern Ireland peace process would all-but cancel any hopes of a trade deal.