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18 July 2019

Bloomberg: Boris Johnson says US trade deal won't be forged quickly

Boris Johnson, the favorite to succeed Theresa May as UK Prime Minister, said a trade deal won’t be reached with the US soon after Brexit, predicting discussions will be “tough” and “robust.”

“A deal with the U.S. is not going to be done in a trice,” Johnson said late Wednesday at a Tory hustings event in London. “It’s not going to be something that adds several percentage points to U.K. GDP, but it will substantially boost our GDP over time,” he said, adding: “it’s not something that’s going to be done instantly.”

Johnson’s latest comments seek to manage expectations on what can be achieved early in his premiership, if, as widely predicted, he beats Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt to the Conservative Party leadership next week. A U.S. trade deal was held up by Brexit campaigners -- including Johnson -- as one of the great prizes of leaving the European Union, and the Times reported earlier this week that Johnson would seek a limited agreement with the world’s biggest economy soon after Brexit.

“The U.S. are very tough negotiators, and we will also have to be very tough,” Johnson said. They will “make some very robust demands, and we’ve got to be prepared to be very robust in exchange, and we certainly will be.”

In what’s likely to be her last set-piece speech as premier, May on Wednesday warned against the “absolutism” and failure to compromise that meant her Brexit deal was unable to win the support of Parliament. “When opinions have become polarized and driven by ideology it becomes incredibly hard for compromise to become a rallying point,” she said. [...]

Full article on Bloomberg

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