Trump Says Britain Would Be 'Better Off' Leaving the EU

  • `Migration's been a horrible thing for Europe,' Trump Says
  • Obama, Cameron back continued EU membership for U.K.

Donald Trump said Britain would be “better off” outside the European Union, a view that puts the presumptive Republican presidential nominee at odds with U.S. President Barack Obama and U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron.

“I would say that they’re better off without it, personally, but I’m not making that as a recommendation -- just my feeling,” Trump said Thursday in a Fox News interview. “I know Great Britain very well, I know the country very well, I have a lot of investments there. I would say that they’re better off without it, but I want them to make their own decision.”

His qualified support for Brexit is rare in international politics. Cameron, who wants Britons to vote to remain in the EU in the June 23 referendum, has garnered support ranging from fellow EU leaders and Obama to the prime ministers of Australia, Japan and New Zealand.

Obama used a visit to Britain last month to say that the U.K. would go to the “back of the queue” when it comes to negotiating a U.S. trade deal if it leaves the EU, calling into question the assertions of the Leave campaign that new agreements could easily be forged. On Thursday, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the U.K. would be “less attractive” to Japanese investors if it leaves the European Union.

‘Horrible Thing’

Trump cited immigration as a reason why Britain would be better off outside the EU.

“I think that migration’s been a horrible thing for Europe,” Trump said. “A lot of that was pushed by the EU.”

His remarks may anger Cameron, who said last year that the Republican’s proposed ban on Muslims entering America was “divisive, unhelpful and quite simply wrong.” Cameron was more conciliatory on Thursday, saying Trump deserved to be treated with “respect” as the U.S. Republican Party’s likely presidential nominee.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.