Trade, Development, and Immigration

UK should not be at the back of the queue for trade deal with the US


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Ahead of President Trump’s visit to the UK, the Institute of Economic Affairs has released a briefing setting out why a timely US-UK trade deal will help post-Brexit Britain to set out its stall as a global champion of free trade.

At this juncture of the Brexit negotiations, it is vitally important for Her Majesty’s Government and the Oval Office to maintain good lines of communication and a strong relationship. If the UK can escape the constraints of the EU’s Customs Union and is able to diverge from EU regulations, there is no reason why it should not be possible to forge a good US-UK trade deal.

Commenting on the report and the President’s impending visit to the UK, Mark Littlewood, Director General at the Institute of Economic Affairs, says:

“The special relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom extends far beyond the individuals who are in positions of leadership at any given time. The rest of the world depends on close cooperation between our two countries, which are bound together by historic, cultural, economic and financial ties.

“The US President has made clear that the UK would be at ‘the front of the queue’ for a bilateral free trade agreement post-Brexit, yet a number of immediate obstacles remain. The UK must secure regulatory autonomy, and be able to diverge from the EU’s ‘rulebook’ in order to get a free trade deal with the US – or anyone else. Furthermore, fearmongering around the ‘Americanisation’ of UK services – particularly the NHS – must be put to rest. The UK government has already confirmed that standards will not be diminished; such negative narratives overlook the huge gains to be made, including access to larger markets and lower costs of goods and services for consumers.

“Donald Trump’s visit to the UK should serve as a reminder that one of the biggest benefits of Brexit is the opportunity to secure free trade deals around the world. Temporary frustrations with the man in charge should not stop us from engaging with our closest ally.”

Ops Note: The IEA have several spokespeople available for broadcast interview this week to discuss the President’s visit.

Notes to editors:

For media enquiries or to arrange an interview please contact Nerissa Chesterfield, Communications Officer: [email protected] or 0207 799 8920 or 07791 390 268

To read the IEA’s Brexit Unit briefing on a US-UK trade deal please click here.

The mission of the Institute of Economic Affairs is to improve understanding of the fundamental institutions of a free society by analysing and expounding the role of markets in solving economic and social problems and seeks to provide analysis in order to improve the public understanding of economics.

The IEA is a registered educational charity and independent of all political parties.



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