Trump interview: Is Donald helping Theresa?

Theresa May Image copyright Getty Images

Does it help?

On the face of it, on some of the front pages at least, it seems a slam dunk.

Before Theresa May gives an important speech on Tuesday outlining her plan for the tortuous process of taking us out of the European Union, there has been a big thumbs-up for Brexit (literally- in the picture he had taken with Michael Gove) from the most powerful individual in the world.

On top of that, Donald Trump, who'll be in charge from Friday, breezily promises a trade deal with the United States that can be sorted out without further ado.

Since the social and diplomatic embarrassments of Nigel Farage's freelance trips to Trump Tower, Number 10 seems to have worked to get the president-elect on board, and his comments in his Times interview to former cabinet minister Michael Gove seem to illustrate success - with the groundwork prepared for a visit between Mr Trump and Mrs May soon after the inauguration.

Mr Trump repeated his wholehearted support for the idea of the UK leaving the European Union, and his comments to the Times suggested he would be in the UK's corner. No prime minister would want to make an enemy of an American president, so who wouldn't want an endorsement like this?

But, as officials in Brussels and leaders around the EU seek to stick together before getting down to business with the talks with the UK, the government may also be wary about being seen to be cosying up too closely to President Trump.

Mrs May shares some of his analysis of many voters' disillusionment with what she describes as the "privileged few". But the similarities don't run deep, and for voters, Mr Trump appals as much as he inspires.

For some in Brussels, Mr Trump's support for Brexit may only harden them against the UK. Diplomacy is a sensitive and complicated business, not used to the brashness of this billionaire.

The European Commission has already piled in to say that it's not possible to make any agreements before the UK has left the EU.

Even Downing Street said today it would "abide by our obligations" and committed only to early conversations.

The president-elect's straightforward promise that a trade deal can be done with Mrs May without delay may come to haunt them both.