The UK government is said to be ‘desperate’ for Donald Trump to lose the US election in November ahead of both sides agreeing a post-Brexit trade deal.
Boris Johnson is publicly one of the US president’s closest allies, but reporters claim his government has been attempting to distance itself from the American administration in anticipation that he will lose the election in November.
‘It would make things much easier if Trump doesn’t win reelection,’ one minister reportedly told The Times.
‘Boris was trying to distance himself from Trump,’ another UK government adviser told the newspaper.
Private polling from Downing Street is said to show the public fear the repercussions of a post-Brexit deal between America and Britain – with the public fearing reduced food standards and animal welfare standards, as well as impact on the NHS.
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The newspaper notes Tory hopes that a change of leadership in the White House would make a deal with America more palatable.
Biden has signalled he would take America back into being a signatory to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), a treaty advocated by Barack Obama but abandoned by Trump.
‘The assumption in Whitehall is that if Biden wins, we won’t need to do a bilateral trade deal because we might both end up in CPTPP. That is already committed to high standards of animal welfare. Some of the sting will be removed from those issues,’ one Tory adviser said.
Government insiders previously told the Financial Times that the government privately accepts it is not going to get a deal before the election, making it unlikely before the end of the Brexit transition period.
‘Is it going to happen this year? Basically, no,’ they said. They added: ‘We don’t want to be bounced into a deal.’
A UK diplomat told Insider that there would be a change in global politics if Trump departed the White House.
‘A lot of stuff will change if Biden wins,’ they said.
‘The venal corruption of the Trump family and the nasty narcissistic aspects of his behavior — all that will go with a different sort of president’.
But while behind closed doors there is hope that Trump loses, Times reporter Tim Shipman notes no-one will comment publicly.
‘It may be easier to find people in No 10 who are prepared to suggest publicly that Cummings retires to run a Specsavers driving school than it is to get someone to admit that they hope Trump loses. But they know that silence is the better way to achieve that goal.’