Donald Trump has declared a national emergency following a fresh row over funding for the President's pledged wall on the US-Mexico border.
During a statement in the White House’s Rose Garden this afternoon, Trump said that he was making the move "not because it is a campaign promise, which it is", but as a result of an influx of drugs coming across the border.
A national emergency gives Trump the power to take discretionary funds amounting to billions of dollars for his project.
The move is likely to exacerbate tensions in Washington, DC following an agreement struck by Republicans and Democrats last week comprising $4bn (£3.1bn) less than Trump has demanded for the fence, which he wants to make 215 miles long.
The news comes after Trump agreed with Congress late last month to a temporary funding measure to keep nine federal departments open, with plans to negotiate a funding solution by 8 February.
Funding over a US-Mexico wall was at the centre of the row that prompted the longest government shutdown in US history over Christmas, which lasted 35 days before ending without meeting Trump's demands for $5.7bn being met.
In his speech Trump also confirmed that the UK and the US “are agreeing to go forward and preserve our trade agreement”.
The Republican President said: “We know all of the situation with respect to Brexit and the complexity and problems, but we have a very good trading relationship with the UK and that’s just been strengthened further”.
“The relationship there is very good,” he added.
The move to preserve the trade deal, which replicates the existing agreement between the EU and the US on technical standards for exported products, is worth roughly £12.8bn.