UK Prime Minister Liz Truss admitted on Tuesday that an FTA with the US, touted as one of the main benefits of Brexit, is unlikely in the short to medium term.
“There are currently no negotiations with the United States, and I have no expectation that they will begin in the short or medium term,” Truss said en route to New York, where he will attend a general session of the UN General Assembly. During this he will meet US President Joe Biden and hold bilateral talks.
Two weeks ago Truss, who was head of diplomacy and before that international trade minister, explained that his priority in negotiations with foreign partners was a “general response to Russian aggression.”
He also said his priorities for free trade agreements had shifted to the east. In this context, he referred to the negotiations with India, whose predecessor Boris Johnson wanted to conclude a deal by the end of this year. The second goal he indicated was an agreement with the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which includes Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman and the United Arab Emirates, and the third – access to comprehensive and progressive change. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), a trade bloc of 11 countries including Australia, Canada and Japan. “These are our business priorities,” he stressed.
The White House warned in early September that any attempt to invalidate the Northern Ireland Protocol, which governs trade with Northern Ireland after Brexit, would harm the prospects of a US-UK trade deal. The protocol, which is part of the Brexit deal, is a sticking point in the relationship between the UK and the EU. London wants the current rules to be renegotiated because they hamper trade between Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom. The British government has warned that it will invalidate some provisions of the protocol through domestic legislation if a solution cannot be found.
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Bartłomiej Niedziński (PAP) from London
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