Trump: “Boris is the right man for the time”

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British Prime Minister Boris Johnson “is the right man for the time”, US President Donald Trump said on Sunday.

“He’s tough. He’s smart. And I think he’s going to do something,” Trump told reporters on the South Lawn after returning from a trip to New York.

Johnson, who played a leading role in the 2016 referendum campaign to leave the EU, became prime minister in July after Theresa May failed to win backing for her withdrawal agreement.

He confounded his critics by agreeing a new deal with the EU in October but failed to pass legislation in parliament in time to meet the latest deadline for leaving the bloc, on October 31.

Nigel Farage, the leader of Britain’s upstart Brexit Party, said on Sunday he would not stand in next month’s election, choosing instead to campaign countywide against Johnson’s EU divorce deal.

Farage, an anti-EU campaigner who has stood for parliament unsuccessfully seven times, set up the Brexit Party this year and swiftly won the most votes in Britain in European elections in May.

His announcement this week that the party would contest every seat on December 12 was seen as a potential setback for Johnson.

It risks splitting the vote of Brexit supporters in an election that will once again pit those who want to leave the European Union against those who want to stay, more than three years after Britain voted to quit the bloc in a referendum.

Trump said he hopes Farage and Johnson can find common ground.

“They’re both friends of mine. What I’d like to see is for Nigel and Boris to come together. I think that’s a possibility.”