BREXIT will be a “great thing” for Britain, Donald Trump, has predicted, as he pledged to work to secure a rapid transatlantic trade agreement with the UK.

The US President-elect said he would be inviting Theresa May for early talks in Washington following his inauguration on Friday; the Prime Minister is expected to visit in February.

In contrast to Barack Obama, who said Britain would be at the "back of the queue" when it came to a trade deal with the US, Mr Trump made clear it would be a priority for his administration.

Read more: The Midge - Revealed – what Trump really thinks of his Scottish roots

"We're going to to work very hard to get it done quickly and done properly; good for both sides," declared the in-coming President in an interview with The Times.

"I will be -meeting with[Mrs May]. She's requesting a meeting and we'll have a meeting right after I get into the White House. We're going to get something done very quickly."

His comments come as the PM prepares to set out her strategy for the forthcoming Brexit negotiations in a keynote speech tomorrow in London. Pre-released remarks have led people to believe Mrs May will all but confirm that the UK Government accepts that leaving the EU will mean leaving the single market and the customs union.

In his interview, Mr Trump disclosed that the PM had written to him shortly after Christmas with a copy of Winston Churchill's address to the Americans after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour.

In her letter, she said she hoped the feeling of "unity and fraternal association" between the two countries was "as true today as it has ever been".

Read more: The Midge - Revealed – what Trump really thinks of his Scottish roots

Speaking to Michael Gove, the former Cabinet Minister and co-leader of the Leave campaign, the President-elect also made clear that, unlike Mr Obama, he welcomed the result of last June's referendum vote.

"People, countries want their own identity and the UK wanted its own identity. Brexit is going to end up being a great thing," he said.

In a wide-ranging interview, Mr Trump disclosed:

*he wanted a new arms control agreement with Russia, saying the numbers of nuclear weapons should be "reduced very substantially";

*orders will be signed next Monday strengthening America's borders, which could include travel restrictions on Europeans going to the US as well as "extreme vetting" of those entering from parts of the world known for Islamist terrorism and

*he believes German Chancellor Angela Merkel made a "catastrophic mistake" when she threw open Germany's borders to hundreds of thousands of migrants.

In his first UK interview since winning the presidential race, Mr Trump identified the refugee crisis as one of the key factors driving the Brexit vote.

"I do believe this, if they[EU countries] hadn't been forced to take in all of the refugees, so many, with all the -problems that it...entails, you wouldn't have a Brexit.

"It probably could have worked out but this was the final straw, this was the final straw that broke the camel's back."

Despite having prompted fears of a new arms race last year when he said the US needed to "greatly strengthen and expand" its nuclear capability, Mr Trump indicated he would like to strike a new nuclear deal with Russia.

"For one thing, nuclear weapons should be way down and reduced very substantially; that's part of it.”

Read more: The Midge - Revealed – what Trump really thinks of his Scottish roots

But while he would like to make "some good deals" with Russia, he said Moscow's intervention in Syria had been "a very bad thing" which had created a "terrible humanitarian situation".

Mr Trump was highly critical of US foreign policy, describing the invasion of Iraq as "possibly the worst -decision ever made in the history of our country", -likening it to "throwing rocks into a -beehive".

He said Afghanistan was "going badly" while the offensive to retake Mosul - the Islamic State terror group's last stronghold in Iraq - had turned out to be a disaster.

However, the President-elect spoke warmly of how he was looking forward to visiting Britain, saying his Scottish mother was "so proud of the Queen".

"Any time the Queen was on television, an event, my mother would be watching," he explained.

He joked that his Scottish ancestry meant he liked to "watch my pennies", adding: "I mean I deal in big pennies; that's the problem."

Also in his interview, Mr Trump branded Nato "obsolete", claiming it had not tackled terrorism, before stating that the military alliance was "very important" to him.

The President-elect reiterated criticism made during his campaign and said "a lot of" the 28 countries in Nato were not paying their fair share.

He laid blame at it being designed "many, many years ago", and added: "It's obsolete because it wasn't taking care of terror.

"And the other thing is the countries aren't paying their fair share so we're supposed to protect countries.

"But a lot of these countries aren't paying what they're supposed to be paying, which is very unfair to the United States."

But in a conflicting message, adding to uncertainty over the alliance's future, he went on to describe its value to him.

"With that being said, Nato is very important to me," he insisted.

Earlier this week, retired general James Mattis, Mr Trump's choice to be in charge of the Pentagon, accused Russian president Vladimir Putin of trying to "break" Nato.

In response to Mr Trump’s remarks, Tim Farron, the Liberal Democrat leader, dismissed Mr Gove’s interview as a “puff piece from a clearly admiring fan”.

He said: “In the same interview Trump told a German newspaper that Nato is obsolete, it will make for a more dangerous world if this view is strong enough for him to turn down his invite to this year’s summit.

“This president warns that helping refugees, saving people escaping the horrors of war, is a bad idea and instead we should be lifting sanctions on Putin despite him backing Assad. This is a man lacking a moral compass who is about to be inaugurated as the President.

“He has picked environmental protection and the desire to show compassion to the most needy as good reasons to leave Europe.”

Mr Farron added: “I don’t know the shape of the Europe that Trump dreams of but I know it frightens me.”