C’mon Man! Post-Brexit Deal with U.S. Not Mentioned at G20 Sunak-Biden Meeting

US President Joe Biden (R) and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak hold a meeting on the si
SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has apparently resigned himself to the reality that a post-Brexit trade deal with the United States under Joe Biden is likely not forthcoming, with the two leaders not even raising the possibility of a deal in a meeting at the G20 summit in Indonesia.

While Rishi Sunak attempted to put a positive spin on trade relations with the America, saying that he is “filled with optimism” about the future, he admitted that the prospect of a new trade deal wasn’t even brought up in his first meeting with President Biden as Prime Minister.

“We didn’t discuss the trade deal in particular, but we did discuss our economic partnership,” Sunak said, according to The Times of London, following what he characterised as “a very good conversation” with the 79-year-old Democrat.

“Both of us acknowledged the fact that actually the United States is our single largest trading partner, and there’s a range of economic co-operation that is happening and can continue to happen in the future,” Sunak added.

Despite sharing much of the same agenda as Biden and not having a personal history of tensions with the Democrat, as was the case with Boris Johnson, it appears that Biden’s opposition to Brexit is still firm.

Unlike former President Trump, who was a champion of the UK independence movement and long expressed a desire to strike a post-Brexit trade deal, Biden has consistently opposed Brexit, much like his old boss, former president Barack Obama, who infamously weighed in before the Brexit referendum to warn Britons that they would be put to the “back of the queue” should they vote to Leave the European Union.

Biden himself said in 2018: “Had I been a Member of Parliament, had I been a British citizen, I would have voted against leaving [the EU].”

Brexit leader Nigel Farage said that Biden would be “an anti-British” president, due to his persistent habit of touting his Irish ancestry in an Anglophobic way, despite also having English roots.

The failure by the Theresa May and Boris Johnson administrations to complete a trade deal during Trump’s time in office has left the United Kingdom with little hope, with the government reportedly being relegated to seeking trade relations with individual states rather than with Washington.

Despite this, America has still tried to flex its muscle to influence British affairs, with the White House persistently entering the fray to support the European Union on the issue of Northern Ireland, an integral part of the United Kingdom upon which the EU has imposed trade barriers, effectively creating a customs border within the UK after Brexit.

In September, then-Prime Minister Liz Truss also expressed doubt over the future of a trade deal with the U.S., saying: “There aren’t currently any negotiations taking place with the U.S. and I don’t have any expectation that those are going to start in the short to medium term.”

Follow Kurt Zindulka on Twitter here @KurtZindulka


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.