Donald Trump has hailed the relationship between the UK and US as ‘the highest level of special.’
The US president said the two nations had a bond like no other as he spoke alongside his British counterpart Theresa May.
The joint press conference took place outside Chequers after a working lunch where they discussed trade, Russia, the Middle East and the thorny issue of Brexit.
The day got off to a shaky start after Trump suggested May’s handling of Brexit meant a free trade deal with the US would be impossible.
However outside the Buckinghamshire retreat, the British prime minister said the pair had agreed to pursue an ‘ambitious deal.’
She said: With mutual investment between us already over $1 trillion we want to go further…
‘The Chequers agreement reached last week provides the platform for Donald and me to agree an ambitious deal.’
The press conference began with Mrs May welcoming Mr Trump to her Buckinghamshire retreat, which was once the home of war leader Winston Churchill.
Speaking of the special bond between the long-term allies, she said: ‘No two countries do more together to keep their countries safe and prosperous.’
This morning, Trump said the current plan for Brexit, which would have an element of free trade between the UK and the EU, would kill any plans for trade between us and his country.
He also said Mrs May’s vision of Brexit doesn’t appear to deliver what the voters wanted.
He then twisted the knife by endorsing Boris Johnson, her rival who resigned as foreign secretary over the official government’s position on leaving the UK.
During the press conference, Trump appeared to backtrack on his views.
He claimed: ‘I don’t know what they’re [the UK] going to do but whatever you do is OK by me.’
‘That’s your decision.’
He added: ‘Just make sure we can trade together that’s all that matters.’
Trump is engaged in a trade war with the EU over steel and aluminium.
His rejection of Mrs May’s Brexit vision is because of the links the UK would still have with its European neighbours.
Earlier Trump claimed: ‘‘If they do a deal like that, we would be dealing with the European Union instead of dealing with the UK, so it will probably kill the deal. ‘If they do that, then their trade deal with the US will probably not be made.’
Trump and Mrs May also discussed the recent Novichok attacks in Wiltshire, believed to be orchestrated by Russia.
Dawn Sturgess died after becoming contaminated with the nerve agent, which is believed to have been left following a Russian-sponsored attack on former spy Sergei Skirpal and his daughter Yulia.
Mrs May said they agreed on the importance of engaging Russia ‘from a position of strength and unity’ as well as countering ‘efforts to undermine our democracies.’