‘We Are with You’ – Bolton Says UK ‘First in Line’ for Trade Deal with U.S.


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President Donald Trump’s National Security Adviser John Bolton has said during a visit to London that Britain will be “first in line” for a trade deal with the U.S. after Brexit.

Speaking following a meeting with Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Mr Bolton said the United Kingdom and the United States could strike “sector-by-sector” deals such as on car production and manufacturing, whilst fleshing out more complex deals in other areas later — a process he said his trade negotiators said was possible under World Trade Organization (WTO) rules.

“The main purpose of the visit really is to convey President Trump’s desire to see a successful exit from the European Union for the United Kingdom on October 31st, to offer to be of help in any way that we can and to express his hope we can have a fully comprehensive bilateral trade agreement with the United Kingdom as soon as possible,” he said in comments reported by the Press Association.

Anglophile President Trump, whose late mother was British, has long-expressed support for Brexit and for striking a “cutting edge” trade deal after the United Kingdom leaves the EU.

“To be clear, in the Trump administration, Britain’s constantly at the front of the trade queue, or line as we say,” Mr Bolton added, in comments constituting a now-running joke between the U.S. and British administrations, referring to then-President Barack Obama saying ahead of the 2016 referendum that if the British voted to leave the EU, their country would be sent to “the back of the queue” for a trade deal under the imagined presidency of Hillary Clinton, as the progressive Democrat falsely predicted would be the case.

The phraseology — Britons tend to say “queue” whereas Americans tend to say “line” — raised alarm bells with Britons and it was later revealed that then-prime minister David Cameron had asked Mr Obama to claim that Britain would be at the “back of the queue” to intimidate people into voting Remain.

Mr Bolton explained that British-American trade deals could be done “sector by sector” — in other words in a “modular fashion”, saying: “You could carve out some areas where it might be possible to reach a bilateral agreement very quickly, very straightforwardly.”

He added: “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 31st exit date.”

“To know the most powerful country on earth is with us is encouraging,” Mark Francois MP, the deputy chairman of the Brexit-supporting European Research Group (ERG), said on talkRADIO Tuesday morning.

Britain was due to leave the EU on March 29th, 2019; however, after former prime minister Theresa May’s EU-approved soft-Brexit treaty failed to pass three times in the House of Commons, Mrs May delayed Brexit twice — despite pledging 108 times to take the UK out of the EU by that date, with or without a deal.

Finally resigning in June, she was succeeded by Boris Johnson, who has pledged to take the United Kingdom out of the EU by the new deadline of October 31st — but unlike with Mrs May, he has formed a “Brexit War Cabinet” and his instructed the Civil Service to make preparing for No Deal “top priority”.

With recent polls revealing that Britons back leaving with no deal on October 31st over delaying Brexit again or cancelling it altogether, and that the Prime Minister should deliver Brexit on time by any means, a no-deal Brexit has received another endorsement from President Trump.

When asked if the President would support a clean exit, Mr Bolton said: “If that is the decision of the British government, we will support it enthusiastically. That is the message I am bringing: we are with you.”

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