13:35 GMT21 February 2020
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    US National Security Adviser John Bolton told Reuters on Friday that US President Donald Trump wants to reassure the support for Britons when the United Kingdom leaves the European Union.

    "President Trump remains very eager to cut a bilateral trade deal with an independent Britain. It's what the people voted for in 2016, and when they get out, whether it's now, 12 April or later, we’ll be standing right there waiting for them", Bolton said in an interview with Reuters.

    "It’s very complicated inside Britain," said Bolton. "I know they’re going through a lot of turmoil. But really I think the president would like to reassure the people of the United Kingdom how strongly we feel, that we want to be there when they do come out of the European Union".

    READ MORE: 'Feels Like Betrayal': Pro-Brexit Protesters Rally in Front of UK Parl't (PHOTO)

    He said Trump emphathizes with May.

    "I think the president sympathizes with anybody going through some of the pressure that Prime minister May is. He’s certainly seen his share of it and I think being a man who empathizes with people in that position that’s what he’s expressing. But I’m sure it's not appropriate for us to speculate really on what the prime minister should do, or her party".

    Bolton stressed that the vote from the first referendum in 2016 was clear.

    "In the European Union they like to say, 'we make the people vote until they get it right,' meaning pro-EU votes. So I guess I'd say if you’re going to hold a second referendum and 'remain' wins, they ought to hold a third referendum and call it best two out of three", Bolton stressed.

    The UK Parliament voted Friday against the government's withdrawal deal and thus lost the option of leaving on 22 May. Last week, the European Council gave London time until 12 April to come up with a new solution if the withdrawal deal fails to pass by 29 March. UK Prime Minister Theresa May, who had pledged to step down if her deal got the necessary support in the parliament, said the search for a solution would continue on Monday.

    Theresa May stressed that any longer extension would need to have a clear purpose and would have to be agreed unanimously by all the EU heads of state ahead of 12 April. In addition, it was "almost certain to involve the United Kingdom being required to hold European Parliamentary elections", May said.

    "On Monday, this House will continue the process to see if there is a stable majority for a particular alternative version of our future relationship with the EU", the prime minister said.

    READ MORE: Brexit Extension With UK Holding EU Elections Likely After Commons Vote — UKIP

    The United Kingdom was initially expected to leave on 29 March, but as the government's deal was rejected earlier in March, the UK prime minister asked the European Council for an extension. After Friday's defeat, the council president Donald Tusk said he would convene a new meeting of EU leaders on 10 April.

    US Mulls Secondary Sanctions on Countries Dealing With Maduro's Government

    Meanwhile, Bolton also told Reuters in an interview on Friday that political transition in Venezuela "going to take some time" but struggle to replace Nicolas Maduro is not losing momentum.

    "I can tell you there's a lot going on beneath the surface. The opposition is in constant contact with large numbers of admirals and other supporters within the Maduro administration," Bolton told Reuters "It's a struggle against an authoritarian government and it's obviously going to take some time", Bolton said.

    Moreover, Bolton stressed that the Trump administration is looking at imposing secondary sanctions on foreign countries that deal with Maduro's government.

    "We're moving exactly in that direction", Bolton told Reuters when asked whether Trump would consider "secondary sanctions". "We are even now looking at a series of additional steps we could take", Bolton told Reuters.

    However, Trump has no current plans to call Russian President Vladimir Putin about the issue of the Russian troops in Venezuela. In addition, Bolton said that Washington is considering to offer a deferral from deportation for Venezuelans living in the US, but first wants to focus on political transition in Venezuela.

    READ MORE: US Ally Slams Alleged Russian Military Deployment in Venezuela

    Long-standing tensions between the United States and Venezuela escalated when opposition leader Juan Guaido on 23 January proclaimed himself to be the country’s interim president. The United States and its allies recognized Guaido, but Russia, China, Turkey, Bolivia and numerous other countries continue to back constitutionally elected President Nicolas Maduro as Venezuela’s only legitimate leader.

    Maduro has called Guaido a puppet of the United States and has accused the United States of attempting to conduct a coup d’etat in Venezuela to remove the country’s legitimate government and claim its resources.

    READ MORE: Bolton, Italian Deputy PM Discuss Bilateral Cooperation on Venezuela


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