11:19 GMT +317 November 2019
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    British Prime Minister Theresa May, right, looks over to President Donald Trump, left, during their joint news conference at Chequers, in Buckinghamshire, England, Friday, July 13, 2018

    Trump Backs ‘Friend of His’ Johnson as Potential UK PM, Praises May’s ‘Fighting’

    © AP Photo / Pablo Martinez Monsivais
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    Ahead of the British Parliament’s debates on a Brexit deal that will decide the fate of the UK’s divorce from the EU and Theresa May’s political future, the US president supported both the struggling prime minister and her possible replacement.

    US President Donald Trump has wished British Prime Minister Theresa May good luck amid the Brexit chaos, praising her fighting qualities.

    “She's a very nice lady, she's a friend of mine, I hope she does well. I hope the Brexit movement and everything happening there goes very well. But Theresa May's a very good woman, and I'll tell you what, she's strong, she's tough and she's in there fighting”, he stated ahead of the British Parliament’s vote on the withdrawal agreement, scheduled for Friday.

    However, Trump also found good words for one of the leading Brexiteers, Boris Johnson, who insists that May should step down. The US president also referred to him as a “friend of his” when he was asked about Johnson as May’s potential replacement.  

    “I like Boris Johnson a lot. He's a friend of mine”, Trump said, although he was not asked about other candidates for the job.

    The former UK foreign secretary and vocal Brexiteer reportedly branded the Withdrawal Agreement proposed by the government "dead anyway”.  Johnson, who has repeatedly criticised May's deal, calling for a “29 March Brexit”, is one of a handful of Tory MPs who have been the subject of leadership talks in Westminster, following Theresa May’s offer of resignation on 27 March. 

    However, to deliver on her resignation promise, her Brexit deal would have to be passed by the Parliament — something that so far it has failed to do on two occasions.  

    The UK Parliament is debating the Withdrawal Deal on the symbolic date of 29 March, which was supposed to be Brexit Day; although it is unclear if there will be a meaningful vote.

    READ MORE: LIVE UPDATES: UK Parliament to Hold New Debate and Third Vote on Brexit Deal

    After May's Brexit deal, which includes a withdrawal agreement that outlines the main points for the United Kingdom's exit from the European Union, and a political declaration that addresses UK-EU relations post-Brexit, was voted down for the second time, House of Commons Speaker John Bercow ruled that May could not bring the same deal to be voted on unless it had been substantially changed.

    The European Council has granted the United Kingdom a Brexit deadline extension until 22 May if the House of Commons can pass the withdrawal deal by 29 March and until 12 April if it cannot.


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