Liz Truss admits UK still nowhere near to post-Brexit trade deal with US

Liz Truss doesn't expect US trade deal talks to start in the "short to medium term". Credit: PA

Liz Truss has said that the UK is unlikely to even start negotiations aimed at securing a trade deal with the US anytime soon.

Speaking to journalists on board a plane to the UN General Assembly in the US, the prime minister admitted that she did not expect talks to get underway in the “short to medium term”. 

The comments come despite her predecessor - Boris Johnson- promising that such an agreement would be one of the big gains of Brexit. 

But hopes of a quick deal have slipped ever since Joe Biden took over as president - with his administration making clear that a UK deal is not a priority. 

Boris Johnson hailed a US free trade deal as a huge benefit of Brexit. Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA

Truss told reporters that her trade priorities were a deal with India- promised by the end of next month; “CTPPT (Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership) accession” - an agreement that includes countries like Australia, Canada, Japan and New Zealand; and the Gulf Cooperation Council.

“Those are our trade priorities,” added Truss. “There [aren’t] currently any negotiations taking place with the US and I don’t have an expectation that those are going to start in the short to medium term.”

Asked what the “short to medium term” amounted to, she reiterated that her priorities were the other three trade opportunities. 

Truss said her main priority during the trip was to ensure that Western countries would no longer be dependent on authoritarian regimes. 

“The number one issue is global security and making sure that we are able to collectively deal with Russian aggression and ensuring that Ukraine prevails,” she said. 

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The prime minister also addressed the UK’s relationship with France after causing controversy during the leadership campaign when claiming the jury was out, after being asked if French president Emmanuel Macron was a “friend and foe”.

Striking a more conciliatory tone after being asked about dealing with the French authorities over the question of migration, Truss said: “I want to have a constructive relationship with France. Of course that means working together on the issue of migration.

"There are a number of other issues we need to work together on whether it’s energy security, whether it’s other issues relating to our relationship with the EU, but most importantly, it’s ensuring that Putin does not succeed in Ukraine.

“That’s what I’ll be discussing with president Macron.”