Brexit LIVE: The United States confirms that “day and night” is working to secure a trade deal with the United Kingdom, as Trump’s envoy stresses
Mr Johnson also backtracked on previous remarks about US access to the NHS, denying there were any plans afoot to “buy” the health service. Talking to LBC, Mr Johnson, who described US President Donald Trump’s attitude towards post-Brexit Britain as “bullish”, said UK negotiators needed to “take him at his word” on the subject of a trade deal. Stressing how keen the US President is for a post-Brexit trade deal with the UK, Mr Johnson said: “He’s very bullish.
“And he said, you know, dozens of times that I’ve seen him say how excited he is about the prospect of a closer relationship, trade-wise, free trade agreement with the UK.”
The US ambassador added: “He wants to get it done. Take him at his word, and start working on it day and night. It would be my suggestion.”
Mr Johnson also urged the UK to strike trade deals within the ‘Fives Eyes’ security alliance including Australia, New Zealand and Canada.
He said: “Having a trade deal with the US and maybe the Five Eyes will strengthen your hand when you are negotiating with your, you know, your closest geographically trading partner, which is the EU.”
In the wake of Labour repeatedly telling voters in last month’s general election that the NHS would be a key part of negotiations under a Tory government, Mr Johnson insisted US President Donald Trump was not interested in the idea.
Asked if the US wanted to buy the NHS, Mr Johnson told LBC: “No, no, and double no.
“The President said if you gave it to him on a silver platter he wouldn’t take it.
“We have got our own issues dealing with health care. It’s a major, major issue.”
His remarks contrasted with comments made during an interview with the BBC’s Andrew Marr last year, in which Mr Johnson said: “I think the entire economy, in a trade deal, all things that are traded would be on the table.”
Britain could find itself embroiled in another ‘cod war’ after Brexit if it expels foreign boats from its waters, the European Union has warned.
Fishing communities the length and breadth of the UK have repeatedly called for European trawlers to be kicked out after the UK leaves the bloc while fishermen on the continent have threatened to retaliate with a blockade of ports. Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic, whose country holds the rotating six-month presidency of the EU, made clear the team of negotiators who will kick off talks with Britain after January 31 will push for continued access.
Plenkovic said: “We want to avoid any fisheries skirmishes in the Atlantic.