Brexit: UK first in line for US trade deal, says Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson meets US House Speaker Paul Ryan in Washington. Picture: AP

Boris Johnson meets US House Speaker Paul Ryan in Washington. Picture: AP

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Britain is “first in line” for a trade deal with the US, Boris Johnson has said after talks with Donald Trump’s senior advisers.

The closeness of the relationship between the UK and US will not change once the president-elect takes office, the Foreign Secretary insisted.

Mr Johnson, who once joked that he would not visit parts of New York because of the “real risk of meeting Donald Trump”, lavished praised on the Republican’s “exciting agenda of change”.

Barack Obama warned during the EU referendum campaign that Britain would be at the “back of the queue” for a trading agreement.

But Mr Johnson said: “Clearly, the Trump administration-to-be has a very exciting agenda of change. One thing that won’t change though is the closeness of the relationship between the US and the UK.

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“We are the number two contributor to defence in Nato. We are America’s principal partner in working for global security and, of course, we are great campaigners for free trade.

“We hear that we are first in line to do a great free trade deal with the United States. So, it’s going to be a very exciting year for both our countries.”

Mr Johnson met Mr Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner and the president-elect’s chief strategist Steve Bannon after flying to New York on Sunday on a hastily arranged trip and has been meeting other key Republicans in Washington.

The meeting came after Theresa May condemned Mr Trump’s comments about groping women as “unacceptable”.

But she indicated the “special relationship” between the UK and US would flourish when he was in the White House.

Mrs May, who is expected to meet Mr Trump in the spring, said she has had two “very good, positive” conversations with Mr Trump.

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