Brexit leader Nigel Farage has criticised Boris Johnson and his predecessor Theresa May for failing to secure a U.S. trade deal during the administration of the Anglophile Donald Trump, after the prime minister admitted that now-President Joe Biden was too busy to prioritise a trade deal with the UK.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is currently on a visit to the United States of America, where he is set to meet with President Biden on Tuesday at the White House.
Johnson has minimised the prospect of a “quick” post-Brexit bilateral trade deal, telling reporters on his flight to New York in comments reported by The Telegraph: “On the FTA [free trade agreement], the reality is that Joe has a lot of fish to fry. He’s got a huge infrastructure package, he’s got a ‘build back better’ package.”
Adding: “We want to do it, but what we want is a good FTA, a great FTA. And I have quite a lot of experience of American negotiations, and they are pretty ruthless, the American negotiators. I would much rather get a deal that really works for the UK than get a quick deal.”
Government sources have also reportedly downplayed the prospect of Johnson coming home with pledges to restart trade negotiations.
More than five years after the UK voted to leave the European Union, the United Kingdom still does not know when it will strike a trade deal with its closest ally, a reality that Brexit leader Nigel Farage blamed on successive pseudo-conservative governments, including one now led by Johnson, a senior figure in the establishment 2016 Vote Leave campaign.
“The government had many years to do a wide-reaching trade deal with America under the Trump administration. It could have been done by now, but May and Johnson completely blew it,” Mr Farage said on Monday.
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A trade deal with the United States had been seen as the jewel in the economic crown of Brexit for Eurosceptics, and Donald Trump, a supporter of Brexit, had been enthusiastic about signing a trade deal with the United Kingdom throughout his four-year presidency.
His predecessor, Barack Obama, was far less keen, claiming that the UK would be at the “back of the queue” for a trade deal if it left the bloc; likewise, Obama’s former Vice President Biden appears to have de-prioritised special trade with the country with which it has the special relationship.
Biden had declared his anti-Brexit sentiments in the past and the Democrat rejecting a comment to the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) in November on the grounds that he is “Irish” appeared to set the tempo early on for future Angl0-American relations, with Farage predicting that Biden would be “an anti-British” president.
Commenting on the “Irish” remarks at the time, the Brexit leader had said: “The Conservatives had 4 years to do a trade deal with the USA and pro-UK President, and they failed. There is no chance now.”
Speaking to this publication in May 2020, the chairman of The Bow Group Ben Harris-Quinney criticised the government for failing to prioritise trade talks with the United States, saying “for too long it has de-prioritised the very generous offers the United States has been making regarding a trade deal. Those offers won’t necessarily be there indefinitely, and we should make discussing them an absolute priority.”
Earlier this year, Biden insiders had predicted that there would be no trade deal until 2024.
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— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) June 11, 2021