August 12, 2019
US national security adviser John Bolton has said a post-Brexit trade deal with the UK could happen “very quickly” as he signalled agreements could be reached “in pieces”.
Trump Aide Says Post-Brexit Trade Deal Can Be Reached Very Quickly And In Pieces
Speaking following a meeting with Prime Minister Boris Johnson on a visit to London, Bolton said the UK will be “first in line” for a trade deal with the US.
He was referencing Barack Obama’s warning from 2016 that the UK would be at the “back of the queue” in any trade deal with the US if the country chose to leave the EU.
Bolton said the US had been “ready to negotiate” with Theresa May’s government and that the US could do a trade deal with the UK “in pieces”.
He said: “We want to move very quickly. We wish we could have moved further along in this with the prior government.
“We were ready to negotiate. We are ready to negotiate now.”
Bolton added the countries could concentrate on areas they can agree on first.
He said: “The idea of doing it in pieces rather than waiting for the whole thing is not unprecedented.
“I think here we see the importance and urgency of doing as much as we can agree on as rapidly as possible because of the impending October 31 exit date.”
Asked whether piecemeal trade agreements like this are allowed under WTO rules, Bolton said: “Our trade negotiators seem to think it is.”
Of the UK being a priority for Donald Trump’s government, Bolton said: “A prior American president said that if the United Kingdom left the European Union, it would go to the back of the queue on trade deals.
“To be clear, in the Trump administration Britain’s constantly at the front of the trade queue, or line as we say.”
Bolton attacked the EU and said the UK’s decision to leave the bloc should be respected.
He said: “The fashion in the European Union when the people vote the wrong way from the way that the elites want to go is to make the peasants vote again and again until they get it right.”
Bolton said it is “hard to imagine” people in the UK did not know “what was at stake” when they voted to leave the EU in 2016.
This is a breaking news story and will be updated. Follow HuffPost UK on Twitter here, and on Facebook here.
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