Britain would be “better off without” the European Union (EU), says Donald Trump, the presumptive US Republican presidential nominee.
The billionaire businessman told Fox News that he was not making a “recommendation” but his “feeling” was that the UK should vote to sever ties with the EU.
“I would say [the British] are better off without [the EU], personally,” he said. “But I’m not making that as a recommendation, just my feeling.”
“I know Great Britain very well, I know the country very well. I have a lot of investments there,” he said.
Last month, US President Barack Obama warned that leaving the EU would diminish Britain’s role on the world stage and leave it at “the back of the queue” for trade deals with the United States.
Brexit supporters and other British conservative politicians reacted angrily to Obama’s interference in domestic matters.
Earlier this year, Trump was the subject of debate in the British parliament over whether he should be banned from entering the country because of his comments about Muslims and other bigoted remarks.
The UK will hold a referendum on June 23 on whether the country should remain a member of the union.
Membership of the European Union has been a controversial issue in the UK since the country joined the then European Economic Community in 1973.
Those in favor of a British withdrawal from the EU argue that outside the bloc, London would be better positioned to conduct its own trade negotiations, better able to control immigration and free from what they believe to be excessive EU regulations and bureaucracy.
Those in favor of remaining in the bloc argue that leaving it would risk the UK’s prosperity, diminish its influence over world affairs, and result in trade barriers between the UK and the EU.