Former UKIP leader Nigel Farage has said members of President Trump’s administration have told him a trade deal between the UK and U.S. after Brexit could be agreed in just 90 days.
Speaking from the Hay-Adams Hotel Washington DC, Mr. Farage said the time frame was ambitious but possible with the right attitude.
He started by slamming Sir. Ivan Rogers, the UK’s former ambassador in Brussels, who recently stepped down, for claiming trade deals were “so complicated, so difficult” and that it could take 10 years for the UK to get a trade deal with the European Union (EU).
— Darren McCaffrey (@DMcCaffreySKY) January 20, 2017
He told Darren McCaffrey of Sky News: “What I saw with the Trump team, was people that came from the private sector, not the public sector, where time is money. And they said: ‘Do you know what, we could get this done and dusted in 90 days’.
“Now look, whether or not it takes 90 days or 120 days isn’t the issue. The point I’m making is that this new administration here has a ‘can-do’ attitude. There are people who are not public sector, they’re not 9 to 5, they work 25/7 to get things done.
“The point is this: the Trump presidency, his administration, is offering our country [the UK] a gift, a great gift – not just for business; not just for trade; not just for investment – but to strengthen our hand in negotiating with the European Union.
“If 90 day is too optimistic, believe me, it’s nearer 90 days than Ivan Rogers’ 10 years”, he said.
On 10 January, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker announced the UK will be in the “front seat” for a new trade deal with the U.S. under the Trump administration after meeting British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson.
The statement came in stark contrast to that from former President Barack Obama, who travelled to the UK during the EU referendum campaign to threaten the British people that they would be at the “back of the queue” for a deal if the voted to Leave.