No US Trade Deal on Horizon, British Prime Minister Truss Admits  

Photo credit: AP

British Prime Minister Liz Truss admitted ahead of her first bilateral meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden that Britain may not strike a free trade deal with the U.S. for years. 

The new prime minister conceded that talks were unlikely to start in the “medium term” as she traveled to New York on her first foreign trip since taking over as Prime Minister.

The announcement is likely to disappoint Brexiters, who have hoped that by leaving the European Union the United Kingdom could establish free trade with the United States. But Truss downplayed expectations that any trade agreement was imminent. 

This is the very first time the British government has conceded there is virtually no chance of an agreement on an early bilateral trade deal between the U.K. and the U.S. It comes amid concerns that overpromising but then failing to get talks off the ground would damage her new administration.

Truss admitted there are currently no negotiations taking place between Britain and the United States. She said she does not have any expectation that the negotiations would begin in the short to medium term. 

The United States is Britain’s biggest trading partner. Brexit supporters see a trade deal with the U.S. as being one of the major potential benefits of leaving the European Union. 

But instead, Truss said her priorities would be joining the trans-Pacific trading partnership of 11 countries, including Australia, Canada, and Singapore, as well as striking deals with the Gulf States and India.

Truss is heading to New York for the United Nations General Assembly. She said her “number one” focus in talks with Biden at the UN would b global security, especially working with the US and European partners to deal with Russian aggression in Ukraine.

Truss’s relations with Biden have already been strained by her threats as foreign secretary to rip up the post-Brexit trading arrangements in Northern Ireland.

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