British ministers in US to ‘fast-track’ post-Brexit trade deal

WASHINGTON (AFP) – Britain was seeking to fast-track a crucial post-Brexit trade deal with the United States on Wednesday (Aug 7) after new Prime Minister Boris Johnson dispatched his top diplomat and foreign trade minister to Washington.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab was due to hold talks with his US counterpart Mike Pompeo at the State Department while International Trade Secretary Liz Truss has lined up meetings with top American trade officials.

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With Mr Johnson determined to ensure Britain leaves the European Union on Oct 31, with or without a deal, striking some kind of trade accord with the Trump administration has taken on even greater importance.

US President Donald Trump, who sees a like-minded leader in Mr Johnson, has said that trade between the two countries could multiply once Britain leaves the EU, and spoke to the British Prime Minister about a deal within days of his taking office last month.

Negotiating and signing an exciting new free trade agreement with the US is one of my top priorities,

said Ms Truss, who was a cheerleader for the leave camp in the 2016 referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU.

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