New UK prime minister Liz Truss has admitted that Britain will not strike a free trade deal with the US for years. This means a dramatic scaling down of UK ambitions for a free trade deal with the US since leaving the European Union. Before, securing a trade deal with the US was sold as being one of the most significant benefits of leaving the EU.
Ms Truss becomes the first Prime Minister since the UK voted to leave the bloc to admit there would be no prospect of a free trade deal with the US in the “short to medium term”. She was speaking en route to United Nations General Assembly in New York, where she will hold her first talks with US President Joe Biden since entering No 10.
Sources understand that the PM does not see any hopes of rekindling trade negotiations before the next election, which is at least two years away. Instead, Ms Truss believes the priority when it comes to her foreign policy will be cracking down on Russia, focusing more on global security.
Still, Ms Truss admitted that when it came to the UK’s primary aims to broker new trading arrangements, it would be outside any bespoke deal with the US. Instead, she said the UK’s focus had to be on entering multilateral trade pacts, such as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) group of nations that includes Australia, Canada and Japan.