BRITAIN is no longer “first in line” for a US trade deal after Parliament wrecked Boris Johnson’s Brexit plans, a top White House official warned yesterday.
Larry Kudlow – Donald Trump’s top economic aide – said “hurdles” stand in the way of a post-Brexit pact after Remainer MPs sparked chaos in Westminster this week.
Larry Kudlow, President Trump’s chief economics adviser, said the top White House trade priority is with Canada and Mexico – not Britain[/caption]
Boris Johnson and Donald Trump agreed last month that a speedy trade deal would be thrashed out after Brexit[/caption]
He said: “Regarding Great Britain, the president has said that we would love to do a trade deal with the United Kingdom – but they’ve got some hurdles.
“But our desire and our goal is to get a deal with the United Kingdom”, he told Dailymail.com.
The comments from the US National Economic Council Director mark a shift from the sunny tone struck by other Trump officials earlier.
John Bolton, the president’s National Security Advisor, said last month the UK would be “first in line” for a deal after Brexit.
And the Prime Minister said President Trump agreed to an aggressive one-year timeline for a trade deal when they met at the G7 in France.
‘BIG FAN OF BORIS’
Mr Kudlow assured the president is a “big fan” of Boris – who Trump yesterday praised as a “fighter” amid his ongoing Brexit battle.
But the aide added that a trade agreement with Mexico and Canada – dubbed USMCA – is the president’s number one legislative priority.
Addressing reporters outside the West Wing, he said: “It’s not a tomorrow question.
“The most important trade deal is the USMCA.
“That is our top legislative priority.”
Boris’ ambitions to see Britain leave the EU on the “do or die” deadline of October 31 were dealt a series of blows this week as MPs sought to make him cow to Brussels.
Twenty-one Tory rebels joined Opposition parties to seize the Commons agenda and push through a bill delaying Brexit to at least January.
The treacherous MPs – including former chancellor Phillip Hammond and Sir Nicolas Soames, grandson of Sir Winston Churchill – were booted out of the party as warned.
That purge of anti-Brexit rebels left the PM without a majority in Parliament and essentially unable to govern.
But yellow-bellied Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn became the first Opposition chief in history to turn down the offer of a General Election.
He called on his MPs to abstain a vote that would have triggered a snap election – which Boris had hoped to take place on October 15.
The Prime Minister – riding high in opinion polls because of his strong Brexit stance – hopes for a pro-Brexit Tory landslide in a quick poll.
That would give him a fresh mandate to storm a crunch EU summit in Brussels on October 17 to hammer out a last-minute Brexit deal.
We’d be happy to get to work with a United Kingdom [free trade agreement]. We just have to get a greenlight from their side, with respect to their parliamentary activities and their discussions with the EU
If a new favourable deal is not reached, Boris has vowed to go ahead with a No Deal Brexit to finally take us out of the EU on October 31.
He hammered the point home on Thursday when the PM said he’d rather “die in a ditch” than see another “pointless” Brexit delay.
In a nod to the confusion in Parliament, Mr Kudlow added: “We’d be happy to get to work with a United Kingdom [free trade agreement].
“We just have to get a green light from their side, with respect to their parliamentary activities and their discussions with the EU.”
FREE TRADE PLEDGE
Vice President Mike Pence said during a visit to the UK on Thursday that the US still remains committed to a swift deal with Brexit Britain.
He said President Trump asked him to “convey that the United States of America is ready, willing, and able to do a free trade agreement with the UK immediately upon the completion of Brexit.”
Mr Pence added: “As I told Prime Minister Johnson today, we believe a free trade agreement between the United States and the United Kingdom could increase trade between our two countries three or four times.
MOST READ IN BREXIT NEWS
“And we’re already going to work on that free trade agreement.
“When you’re ready, we’ll be ready.”
He later vowed: “Our message is clear: The minute the UK is out, America is in.”
Vice President Mike Pence recommitted the US pledge for a fast post-Brexit trade deal during his visit to the UK this week[/caption]
John Bolton meeting the Chancellor Sajid Javid last month, where the US National Security Adviser said the UK was ‘first in line’ for a trade deal with the US[/caption]
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