Donald Trump wants 'cutting edge' free trade deal with UK to start immediately after Brexit

Olivia Tobin
Donald Trump's administration wants a free trade deal with the UK set up immediately post Brexit: AP

US President Donald Trump has said he wants a “cutting edge” free trade deal with the UK to start immediately after Brexit.

The Trump administration has announced it would like to start formal talks with the UK “as soon as it is ready” after Brexit day, on March 29.

The trade agreement was hailed as “ambitious” in a letter, but could form a “deep trade and investment relationship” between the US and the UK.

US trade representative, Robert Lighizer, has written about the ambitious agreement to Orrin Hatch, the chairmain of the Senate Finance committee.

Mr Lighizer said: “The United States and the United Kingdom are the first and fifth largest economies in the world, respectively, and maintain a broad and deep trade and investment relationship.

“An ambitious trade agreement between our two countries could further expand this relationship by removing existing goods and services tariff and non-tariff barriers and by developing cutting edge opportunities for emerging sectors where US and UK innovators and entrepreneurs are most competitive.”

It added: “While the United Kingdom is not able to negotiate trade agreements until it has formally left the EU on March 29, 2019, UK Secretary of State for International Trade Dr Liam Fox and I launched the US-UK Trade and Investment Group in July 2017 to provide commercial continuity for the UK and US businesses, workers and consumers as the UK leaves the EU and to explore ways to strengthen trade and investment ties.”

Donald Trump and Theresa May met earlier this year, in New York (AP)

Mr Trump has previously praised Brexit and said it would be a good opportunity for the UK to thrive in.

The news comes as the Prime Minister is travelling to Brussels for what has been described as “the moment of truth” for Brexit negotiations.

Theresa May is set to address EU leaders on Wednesday, amid growing concerns the two sides will be unable to bridge the gap over the issue of the Irish border.

News of Mr Lighizer’s letter was met with a comment from the UK’s director general for trade policy, John Alty.

He responded to a tweet where he was asked if he was “in the loop” with the negotiations, saying: “I can assure you we are…thank you for your concern”.