John Bolton: Trump Looks Forward to Negotiating with ‘Fully Independent’ UK

AYLESBURY, ENGLAND - JULY 13: Prime Minister Theresa May and U.S. President Donald Trump make their way to a joint press conference following their meeting at Chequers on July 13, 2018 in Aylesbury, England. US President, Donald Trump held bi-lateral talks with British Prime Minister, Theresa May at her grace-and-favour …
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U.S. national security adviser John Bolton has said that President Donald J Trump is a “strong supporter of Brexit” and is looking forward to negotiating with Brexit Britain.

Mr Bolton spoke to British broadcaster Sky News ahead of the U.S. leader’s State Visit to the UK and talked of the President’s eagerness to do a trade deal with the UK saying: “President Trump’s made it clear that he looks forward to a day the U.S. and the UK can negotiate a bilateral agreement that will be beneficial to both countries and see the will of the people carried out.”

The comments come as the outgoing prime minister, Theresa May, had been tussling with her own Brexiteer MPs to gain support for her EU-approved withdrawal treaty, which British politicians such as former minister David Davis warned could stop the UK from making free trade agreements with countries outside of the EU including the United States.

After failing to pass her Withdrawal Agreement Bill three times, the prime minister announced that she would be stepping down as Tory Party leader on June 7th — after President Trump’s State Visit between June 3rd and 5th.

Touching on the subject of the party leadership race, with the winner becoming the UK’s next prime minister, Mr Bolton said: “…I think it’s going to be up to the Conservative Party in the first instance to pick a new leader and then to see what happens in the negotiation process with the European Union.

“He has been a strong supporter of Brexit and I think he really does look forward to negotiating with a fully independent Britain outside the European Union.”

The Trump administration has been sending a number of overtures to the UK offering a “tremendously big” free trade agreement; however, concerns have also been raised on both sides of the pond that any deal that aligns the UK too closely with the EU could make FTAs impossible.

While the EU and parliamentary Remainers have claimed that a fully-independent UK, that leaves the bloc in a clean break without customs alignment or a transition period, would negatively affect the UK’s economy and that the UK is too small to stand on its own on the world’s stage, Mr Bolton had said that a no-deal Brexit is no problem.

When Mr Bolton last spoke to Sky News in March, he said that the world’s largest economy would be keen to sign an FTA with a no-deal Brexit Britain, saying: “People who worry about the UK ‘crashing out’ of the European Union — that’s the phrase they use — they’re going to ‘crash’ right into the United States.”

In his comments to the broadcaster from Thursday night, Mr Bolton made reference to the British industries and products that the United States are particularly interested in gaining access to, such as British pharmaceuticals, and raised the prospect of a “three-way deal” including Canada as the Anglosphere’s economies are so “in sync”.

“Britain is a global economic power and political power and we look forward to a strong relationship,” he added.

President Trump is set to meet with the outgoing prime minister, who Mr Bolton said he “admires” and was proud to work with “because the U.S.-UK relationship is the most important bilateral relationship we have”; however, earlier on Thursday President Trump said that he may also meet with Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage and Tory leadership hopeful Boris Johnson during his stay.

“Nigel just had a big victory, got 32 percent of the vote, starting from nothing… Nigel Farage is a friend of mine, Boris is a friend of mine, they’re two very good guys, very interesting people,” he said.

Responding to whether or not the President would meet with either figures, Mr Bolton said: “The president will do what the president wants.”


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