Brexit deal on the BRINK: US-UK trade ‘difficult to conclude’ if EU deal is not reached

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Former assistant US trade representative Barbara Weisel claimed that a UK-EU deal would be key in securing an important trade deal with the US. She also pointed out that a Democratic victory in the upcoming elections could postpone the agreement.

About the prospect of carrying out UK-US talks without a Brexit deal, Ms Weisel said: “Absent a Brexit deal, it becomes very difficult to conclude the US-UK negotiations.

“The truth is, the relationship between the UK and the EU is going to be the dominant consideration.”

She added: “The Biden platform has been very clear that they don’t see trade negotiations as a priority initially.

“Trade is important but it’s part of the general foreign policy approach of repairing relations and taking a more co-operative approach with allies and partners.”

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has previously warned he would not allow a free trade deal following the introduction of the Internal Market Bill into EU/UK talks.

Mr Biden and Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi have both criticised Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s plans to modify the Withdrawal Agreement.

He tweeted last month: “Any trade deal between the US and UK must be contingent upon respect for the [Good Friday] Agreement and preventing the return of a hard border. Period.”

However, US President Donald Trump has expressed his good relationship with the UK.

Sarah Elliott, the chair of the Republicans Overseas UK campaign group, said Mr Trump “adores” the UK and said the President is “better for the UK”.

She told Politico: “A free trade deal is definitely much more likely under a Trump presidency than Biden.

“Biden will side with the EU and will prioritise a relationship with the EU over the UK.

“He’s also made that clear by his intervention on Northern Ireland and his intervention on the Brexit deal.

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“Donald Trump, like him or loathe him, is better for the UK.”

Senior sources at the Department for International Trade said a “benchmark” was set on July next year for when a deal should be reached between the US and the UK.

Last week, Liz Truss, International Trade Secretary, confirmed trade talks between the US and UK had resumed.

In a statement, Ms Truss said: “The 5th round trade talks have started with our great ally the US.

“We’re intensifying negotiations so we are in a good position to move forward after the election.

“We want a deal that delivers for all parts of and is forward-leaning in modern areas like tech & services.”

It is estimated a trade deal with the US stood at £201.6billion, accounting for 15 percent of the UK’s trade in 2018.

But in her statement, Ms Truss confirmed the practice of chlorinated chicken and hormone-injected beef is already banned in the UK.

She said: “What isn’t helpful is scare stories about hormone beef and chlorinated chicken when it’s already banned in the UK anyway.

“We’ve imported all the EU laws on food standards and those remain.”

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