Boris Johnson Warns Trump US Must Compromise To Get UK Trade Deal
Mr Johnson held a breakfast meeting with Mr Trump before discussions with other world leaders at the summit.
Speaking to reporters after the working breakfast, Mr Trump said: “We’re going to do a very big trade deal, bigger than we’ve ever had with the UK and now at some point they won’t have the obstacle, they won’t have the anchor around their ankle, because that’s what they have.”
“We intend to seize those opportunities but they are going to require our American friends to compromise and to open up their approach, because currently there are too many restrictions.”
Offering an example of a restriction, Mr Johnson said: “Melton Mowbray pork pies, which are sold in Thailand and in Iceland, are currently unable to enter the US market because of, I don’t know, some sort of food and drug administration restriction.”
He said a bilateral post-Brexit deal could lead to a “three to four, five times” increase in current trade – but provided no details about how that would be achieved.
What is a trade deal?
Trade deals involve two or more countries agreeing a set of terms by which they buy and sell goods and services from each other.
Deals are designed to increase trade by eliminating or reducing trade barriers. These barriers might include import or export taxes (tariffs), quotas, or differing regulations on things such as safety or labelling.
Mr Johnson also discussed the possibility of a tax on internet giants, following the French government’s decision to approve a digital services tax despite threats of retaliation by the US.
“Frankly, we must do something to tax fairly and properly the online businesses that have such colossal sales in our country,” he told reporters.
“I am open to discussion about how we do that and I am willing to listen to our American friends about the modalities.”
‘Mr No Deal’
With Brexit on the agenda later when the prime minister meets Mr Tusk, Downing Street dismissed as “entirely false” newspaper suggestions the government was considering suspending Parliament “in order to stop MPs debating Brexit”.
The Observer reports that it has seen an email to a No 10 adviser making clear the PM was seeking legal advice on whether parliament could be shut down for five weeks from 9 September, in what the paper said appeared to be “a concerted plan to stop MPs forcing a further extension to Brexit”.
Mr Johnson’s allies believe he has other options to outmanoeuvre MPs who are seeking to block no deal, though they insist he wants to leave the EU with a deal.
Speaking separately ahead of their first face-to-face meeting on Sunday, Mr Tusk said Mr Johnson risked being remembered as “Mr No Deal” – but the PM responded by saying it was Mr Tusk who would become “Mr No-Deal Brexit”.
Mr Johnson has repeatedly stated he would prefer to leave the EU with a deal on 31 October, but insists the backstop – the insurance policy designed to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland – must be removed from the withdrawal agreement.
“I’ve made it absolutely clear I don’t want no deal, and that we’ve got to get rid of the backstop from the treaty, and if Mr Tusk doesn’t want to go down as Mr No-Deal Brexit, I hope that point will be borne in mind too,” Mr Johnson said.