Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Boris rattles EU with plan to strike phase one of huge US trade deal with Trump in WEEKS


Boris Johnson could complete “phase one” of a huge UK trade deal with the US within weeks, according to a leading trade expert. The Prime Minister is keen to wrap up trade deals with the US, EU, Australia, and New Zealand before the end of December when the Brexit transition period is due to finish. Sam Lowe, from the Centre for European Reform, told Channel 4 News that the US and UK will come together to strike the first phase of the deal within weeks – potentially when Boris Johnson goes to the US in March.

Mr Lowe said: “The US wants to sign a comprehensive trade agreement but that requires the UK to diverge from EU standards and regulations, which means we cannot remain aligned with the EU on things such as food standards.

“I predict that there will be a big launch event to start the US-UK trade talks.

“We will then find something small, related to trade, to negotiate with Trump quickly. A limited, defined agreement.

“We could support maybe scrapping the digital services tax in exchange for the US excluding us from the Boeing Airbus retaliation.”

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He continued: “It could be as slim and as soon as that. Ready for the November elections for Trump and it doesn’t need Congress approval.

“And Boris can say we have done the first bit of a trade agreement.”

Mr Lowe suggested that the US could bully the EU by using the deal with the UK “as leverage” in trade deal talks with Brussels.

The announcement of the first phase of a trade deal could coincide with the planned US visit by Boris Johnson, which is expected to go ahead in March.

The growing row over No 10’s planned “tech tax” could prove a major stumbling block for Boris Johnson’s ambitions.

Washington reacted angrily this week to UK plans to impose a new digital services tax on big tech companies.

Washington hit back by warning that it will impose tariffs on UK car manufacturers unless the plan is ditched.

Chancellor Sajid Javid insisted it will go ahead as planned in April.

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