Britain wants U.S. trade deal quickly, but terms have to be right - UK spokeswoman
LONDON, Aug 23 (Reuters) - Britain wants to agree a
post-Brexit trade deal with the United States quickly, but the
terms have to work for both sides, a British spokeswoman said on
Friday ahead of a meeting between Prime Minister Boris Johnson
and President Trump.
Johnson, only a month into his leadership, will travel to
the French seaside resort of Biarritz on Saturday for a G7
summit where his every move will be scrutinised for clues on how
he will position Britain between the European Union and the
United States after leaving the EU on Oct. 31.
He will meet Trump on Sunday morning for what are expected
to be positive talks on trade and Brexit, as well as covering
international topics where the two sides do not see eye to eye,
like Russia, the Iran nuclear deal and trade policy on China.
Both Britain and the United States have talked up the
prospect of a UK-U.S. trade deal - seen by Brexit advocates as
one of the main advantages of leaving the EU - but critics say
Trump's administration will drive a hard bargain.
On Friday, the government said it would not rush into a
deal, cooling expectations of any formal timetable for trade
talks being agreed in Biarritz.
"Of course we want to move quickly, but we want to get the
right deal that works for both sides," the spokeswoman told
Britain has so far failed to agree a deal with the EU to
mitigate the disruption caused by its unprecedented departure
from the EU, increasing the chances of an unmanaged exit that
would shock the global economy.
The government has previously rejected criticism from the
opposition Labour Party and others that a trade deal with the
U.S. could compromise Britain's state-funded National Health
Service and lower food and animal welfare standards.
Earlier this month, senior Trump adviser John Bolton came to
London with a message from Trump that the United States would do
whatever it could to help the country through Brexit and set
aside thornier diplomatic issues until later.
Bolton also mooted the possibility of a series of rapid
sector-by-sector trade deals that could take effect as early as
Nov. 1, although Britain has expressed a preference for one
(Reporting by William James; editing by Stephen Addison)
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