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26 November 2018

Bloomberg: Trump says Brexit deal could hurt plans for US trade pact

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President Donald Trump dropped a rhetorical bomb on UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s efforts to get a Brexit agreement through parliament, warning the deal she reached with the EU could jeopardize Britain’s ability to strike a trade pact with the US.

“Right now as the deal stands she may not -- they may not -- be able to trade with the U.S. and I don’t think they want that at all, that would be a very big negative for the deal,” Trump said Monday as he departed the White House for campaign rallies in Mississippi.

The president called May’s agreement “a great deal for the EU” and urged the prime minister to reopen negotiations with Brussels, something both she and EU leaders who approved the deal on Sunday have repeatedly declared they would not do. The pound dropped 0.4 percent against the dollar.

“I don’t think the prime minister meant that," Trump said of the limits the 585-page exit document would put on the U.K.’s ability to reach a trade pact with the U.S. [...]

A spokesman for the prime minister responded to Trump’s comments on Monday by saying the U.K. remained committed to reaching a trade deal with Washington. The deal negotiated with the EU was “very clear” in allowing the U.K. to have “an independent trade policy so that the U.K. can sign trade deals with countries around the world -- including with the U.S.,” the spokesman said.

But for as long as the U.K. remains inside the EU’s customs union, it can’t strike trade deals with other countries such as the U.S. because the EU’s tariffs and standards will still apply to goods the country imports. As a result the deal would at the very least delay Trump’s ability to negotiate a bilateral deal with the U.K. [...]

Full article on Bloomberg

UK Government's response to coverage of the UK’s ability to strike a trade deal with the US when Britain leaves the EU

© Bloomberg

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