Minister now admits US trade deal no longer 'critical' to UK economy success

George Eustice on BBC Breakfast

George Eustice on BBC Breakfast - Credit: BBC

Environment secretary George Eustice has admitted that post-Brexit trade talks with America may have to start again following Joe Biden's win, before claiming a deal is no longer "critical" to the economy.

Eustice said it could be possible to pick up on US trade negotiations with Biden’s administration where they were left with Donald Trump, but he said there is a possibility they may have to start from the beginning again.

Asked about whether talks had to start again from scratch, Eustice told BBC Breakfast: “It doesn’t if the new administration is happy to pick up where the previous one did.

“That is possible and something that we will be exploring, but it’s just too early to tell really.

“It may be that obviously, the time that it takes for a new administration to take root means there’s some slippage in time, but we’ll see once they’re properly in place.”

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Despite the government talking up the prospect over the last year, the minister also downplayed the significance of a deal with America.

He said: "We already do huge amounts of trade with the United States, if we could get a free-trade agreement it opens up other opportunities, but a trade deal with the United States is not critical to our economic success.

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"But if we could get a trade deal with the US it could create some additional opportunities."

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