Sunday 18 August 2019

US 'will reward UK with free trade deal' after Euro exit

Dangling a carrot: US national security adviser John Bolton has talked up a US-UK trade deal after Brexit. AP Photo/Martin Mejia
Dangling a carrot: US national security adviser John Bolton has talked up a US-UK trade deal after Brexit. AP Photo/Martin Mejia
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

The White House will reward the UK for a successful Brexit with a free trade agreement, US national security adviser John Bolton has said.

With the UK on course to leave the EU without a deal on October 31, Prime Minister Boris Johnson is likely to turn quickly to the US for a trade arrangement.

He spoke with President Donald Trump yesterday to discuss Brexit, trade and global economic issues.

The phone call came after Mr Bolton indicated the president wants Brexit to go ahead and will look favourably on doing a US-UK deal afterwards.

A central message Mr Bolton is making during a two-day visit to London is that the US will help cushion Britain's exit from the EU with a free trade agreement which is being negotiated by US trade representative Robert Lighthizer and his British counterpart, Liz Truss.

A senior Trump administration official, describing Mr Bolton's message to British officials, said Mr Trump "wants to see a successful British exit from the European Union" and that a trade deal would help Britain.

Mr Trump had wanted to work with Theresa May's government on a trade deal but her government "didn't want to do it. This government does. We're very happy about it", the official told reporters travelling with Mr Bolton.

But Mr Trump believes that "when it comes to trade negotiations, the EU is worse than China, only smaller," the official said.

The Irish lobby in Washington has been working hard to ensure there are barriers to a deal if a crash-out Brexit causes damage to the Good Friday Agreement.

During a visit to Dublin earlier this year, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said: "Let me be clear if the Brexit deal undermines the Good Friday accord, there will be no chance of a US-UK trade agreement.

"I say that hopefully, that we would not have to face that reality."

Irish Independent

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