Donald Trump insists leaving European Union would have been a doddle

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"It is really great to have the prime minister of Ireland with us", Trump said, before stating that he's becoming "fast friends" with the Taoiseach.

President Donald Trump on Thursday sharply criticized Britain's handling of negotiations over leaving the European Union, saying the talks have been bungled and that the debate was dividing the country.

"I lived in a country where if I'd tried to be myself at the time, it would have ended up breaking laws", the Irish prime minister said. "But I think it could've been negotiated in a different manner, frankly", he said.

"I'd like to see that whole situation with Brexit work out", Trump added. Lawmakers have committed the country to staying in the bloc unless a divorce deal is ratified.

"I look forward to talking to you later about Brexit, giving you our perspective on it and the real importance of protecting the Good Friday Agreement and the really hard-won peace in Northern Ireland", Varadkar told Trump, referring to the 1998 British-Irish peace accord.

But despite criticising Mrs May's approach at the negotiating table, Mr Trump reiterated his desire for a strong UK-US trade deal.

Mr Trump's comments come as MPs prepare to vote on a second Brexit referendum this evening - the first time they have been given an official opportunity to have their say on the issue.

On Thursday MPs voted 413 to 202 - a majority of 211 for Mrs May to ask the European Union for a delay to Brexit.

Pence tweeted that he was honored to host Varadkar at his home. "He does great work at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago", the vice president said to applause.

After he met Pence at his home a year ago, Varadkar told Irish reporters that the two discussed LGBT issues and that the vice-president told the Irish leader that his partner would be welcome at his home.

Pence glossed over the Brexit disagreement as he welcomed Varadkar for the breakfast, and grew nostalgic as he recounted his grandfather's emigration from Ireland and his own affection for the country.

During the annual event, the Taoiseach presented the USA president with a bowl of shamrock to mark his St Patrick's visit to Washington DC.

Trump may agree. At the luncheon, he sounded cheerful as he described his discussion with Varadkar.

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