July 13, 2018 / 8:30 AM / 4 months ago

May and Trump will have positive trade discussion: UK finance minister Hammond

Britain's Finance Secretary Philip Hammond and other guests await the arrival at Blenheim Palace of the U.S. President Donald Trump and the First Lady Melania Trump who are attending a dinner with Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May and business leaders, near Oxford, Britain, July 12, 2018. REUTERS/Hannah McKay

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Theresa May and U.S. President Donald Trump will have a positive discussion on future trade ties, despite the latter’s criticism of May’s Brexit plan, British Finance Minister Philip Hammond said on Friday.

Trump directly criticized May’s Brexit strategy on the eve of their meeting, saying it probably killed off hope of a U.S.-UK trade deal.

“The president hasn’t yet had a chance to discuss with the prime minister the white paper, which was after all only published yesterday, and I know she’s looking forward to the opportunity to discuss with the president how we can take forward the big opportunities for increasing trade and investment between the UK and the United States that she mentioned last night during the dinner at Blenheim,” Hammond told reporters before a meeting of EU finance ministers in Brussels.

“I saw that the president was nodding furiously last night as she was speaking last night and I’m sure there will be a very positive discussion between them today,” he said.

Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop; editing by Robert-Jan Bartunek

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