The EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has called on US President Donald Trump to stop applauding Brexit and become more supportive of the block. He threatened to hit back if Trump does not change his tune.
“Brexit isn’t the end. A lot of people would like it that way, even people on another continent where the newly elected US president was happy that Brexit was taking place and has asked other countries to do the same,” Juncker said on Thursday during a conference of the center-right European People’s Party in Malta.
“If he goes on like that I am going to promote the independence of Ohio and Austin, Texas in the US,” he added.
In an interview with the Financial Times, the EU Commission boss called Trump’s enthusiasm for Britain’s departure from the EU “annoying” and “surprising.”
During the election campaign, Trump has praised Britain as “smart” for opting out of the European Union. He welcomed the result of the June referendum, saying it was “a great thing” that the British voters “took back their country.” He added other countries could follow the lead and leave the block.
Trump also promised to draw up a trade deal with the UK “quickly” after Brexit.
When asked to comment on the UK’s triggering of Article 50, the White House spokesman Sean Spicer said the US president was a “leader in the effort to call Brexit.”
The US “respects the will of the British electorate,” Spicer added.
Last summer, Trump twitted “they will soon be calling me MR. BREXIT!”