Donald Trump claims victory on NATO military spending
EU members contradict assertion that US prez secured notable concessions
US President Donald Trump has claimed victory at the NATO summit, saying progress had been made on defence spending only hours after throwing the Brussels meeting intodisarray with fresh attacks on European allies.
Asked whether he had threatened to pull out of NATO, Trump did not directly deny it. He told a surprise press conference before he was scheduled to leave that he only told people he would be "extremely unhappy" if spending was not increased. Trump claimed he could pull the US out of NATO without the approval of Congress. "I think I probably can but that's unnecessary," he said.
He said the alliance members had agreed to reach spending two per cent of GDP on defence faster than previously planned and claimed financial commitments would increase beyond that in future. But other delegations and NATO officials contradicted Trump, saying he had secured no significant concessions and their defence spending plans remained basically the same as they had been before.
Brexit plan called 'real blow' to City
The UK government's new blueprint for Brexit yesterday drew a firm thumbs-down from the City, which warned it would damage both the all-important finance sector and the wider economy, but industry appeared happier. The government has been at pains to map out a future customs plan to govern post-Brexit trade with the EU. But its new "white paper" gave little detail about the future of services, which account for 80 per cent of the economy.
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