UK Prime Minister Theresa May says Trump told her to sue the EU over Brexit

LONDON, July 15 (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Theresa May said U.S. President Donald Trump had previously advised her to sue the European Union as part of her Brexit strategy, disclosing a piece of advice Trump said last week she had ignored.

"He told me I should sue the EU," May told BBC television. "Sue the EU. Not go into negotiations - sue them."

May pointed out that Trump, who was visiting Britain, had also advised that now she was in a negotiation, she should not walk away.

"I want us to be able to sit down to negotiate the best deal for Britain," May said.

RELATED: President Trump and Theresa May in joint Chequers press conference

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President Trump and Theresa May in joint Chequers press conference
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President Trump and Theresa May in joint Chequers press conference
Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May poses for photographs with U.S. President Donald Trump at Chequers near Aylesbury, Britain July 13, 2018. Jack Taylor/Pool via REUTERS
Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May greets U.S. President Donald Trump at Chequers near Aylesbury, Britain July 13, 2018. Jack Taylor/Pool via REUTERS
Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May and U.S. President Donald Trump arrive for a joint news conference in the grounds of Chequers near Aylesbury, Britain July 13, 2018. Jack Taylor/Pool via REUTERS
Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May and U.S. President Donald Trump walk in the grounds of Chequers near Aylesbury, Britain July 13, 2018. Jack Taylor/Pool via REUTERS
Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May and U.S. President Donald Trump hold a joint news conference at Chequers, the official country residence of the Prime Minister, near Aylesbury, Britain, July 13, 2018. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May and U.S. President Donald Trump walk to a joint news conference at Chequers, the official country residence of the Prime Minister, near Aylesbury, Britain, July 13, 2018. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May and U.S. President Donald Trump hold a joint news conference at Chequers, the official country residence of the Prime Minister, near Aylesbury, Britain, July 13, 2018. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May and U.S. President Donald Trump hold a joint news conference at Chequers, the official country residence of the Prime Minister, near Aylesbury, Britain, July 13, 2018. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May and U.S. President Donald Trump walk away after holding a joint news conference at Chequers, the official country residence of the Prime Minister, near Aylesbury, Britain, July 13, 2018. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
U.S. President Donald Trump walks with Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May prior to a joint press conference at Chequers, near Aylesbury, Britain July 13, 2018. Stefan Rousseau/Pool via REUTERS
U.S. President Donald Trump and British Prime Minister Theresa May hold a press conference after their meeting at Chequers in Buckinghamshire, Britain July 13, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
British Prime Minister Theresa May listens as she and U.S. President Donald Trump hold a press conference after their meeting at Chequers in Buckinghamshire, Britain July 13, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
US President Donald Trump (L) gestures as he speaks next to Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May (R) during a press conference following their meeting at Chequers, the prime minister's country residence, near Ellesborough, northwest of London on July 13, 2018 on the second day of Trump's UK visit. - US President Donald Trump launched an extraordinary attack on Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit strategy, plunging the transatlantic 'special relationship' to a new low as they prepared to meet Friday on the second day of his tumultuous trip to Britain. (Photo by Jack Taylor / POOL / Getty Images) (Photo credit should read JACK TAYLOR/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump (L) speaks during a press conference with Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May (R) following their meeting at Chequers, the prime minister's country residence, near Ellesborough, northwest of London on July 13, 2018 on the second day of Trump's UK visit. - US President Donald Trump launched an extraordinary attack on Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit strategy, plunging the transatlantic 'special relationship' to a new low as they prepared to meet Friday on the second day of his tumultuous trip to Britain. (Photo by Jack Taylor / POOL / Getty Images) (Photo credit should read JACK TAYLOR/AFP/Getty Images)
AYLESBURY, ENGLAND - JULY 13: Prime Minister Theresa May holds bi-lateral talks with U.S. President Donald Trump at Chequers on July 13, 2018 in Aylesbury, England. US President, Donald Trump, held bi-lateral talks with British Prime Minister, Theresa May at her grace-and-favour country residence, Chequers. Earlier British newspaper, The Sun, revealed criticisms of Theresa May and her Brexit policy made by President Trump in an exclusive interview. Later today The President and First Lady will join Her Majesty for tea at Windsor Castle. (Photo by Jack Taylor-WPA Pool/Getty Images)
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Trump said in an interview published on Friday that May had not followed his advice on Brexit - one of a number of comments that were seen as a damning critique of her exit plans and added fuel to the raging debate over May's plans to leave the EU.

The president later used a news conference with May to play down his earlier remarks, saying he understood why she had found the advice "a little bit tough." Trump also said the United States and Britain could secure a "great" post-Brexit trade deal.

Britons voted to leave the EU in a referendum in June 2016 and the issue has dominated the political landscape since.

With less than nine months to go before the country is due to leave the EU next March, the political elite and business leaders remain deeply divided over what form Brexit should take. (Reporting by William James Editing by Guy Faulconbridge/Keith Weir)

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