The UK will be “first in line” to negotiate a trade deal with the US post-Brexit, President Trump’s national security adviser has said.
After meeting Prime Minister Boris Johnson in London, John Bolton said trade deals could be done on a sector-by-sector basis to accelerate the pace, with the manufacturing industry first on the agenda.
Mr Bolton said a series of trade deals could be agreed “very quickly, very straight-forwardly”. Typically, a trade deal takes a long time to agree because it covers a broad range of sectors, but Trump’s adviser said it was not unprecedented to agree smaller deals one-by-one.
Mr Bolton said: “To be clear, in the Trump administration, Britain’s constantly at the front of the trade queue, or line as we say.
“We want to move very quickly. We wish we could have moved further along in this with the prior government.”
He also criticised the European Union, accusing it of treating voters like “peasants”. He said: “The fashion in the European Union when the people vote the wrong way from the way that the elites want to go is to make the peasants vote again and again until they get it right.”
Some MPs have urged caution on Mr Bolton’s comments. Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee Tom Tugendhat said politicians and the public should remember that he is a strong campaigner of “America first”.
Speaking to the BBC, Mr Tugendhat, said: “This isn’t some sort of dewy-eyed, soft, romantic vision of a special relationship that he’s trying to kindle for romantic and historic reasons.
“He has a very specific interest which is to defend and extend US interests.”