Brexit deal with the US to get Biden’s blessing as 2016 vote is ‘water under the bridge’

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Former US Ambassador to the EU Anthony Gardner revealed that President-elect Joe Biden intends to get a free trade deal with the UK despite his stance on Brexit. The President-elect, who has Irish ancestry, has publicly criticised the Government over its plan to tear up the Brexit divorce deal and break international law over the Northern Ireland protocol. But Mr Gardner said Mr Biden has “no desire” to reopen the Brexit debate and the 2016 result is “water under the bridge”.

Speaking to BBC Newsnight, Mr Gardner said: “I think there would be an intention of getting a free trade deal with the UK even if it’s not a terribly ambitious one.

“It would be significant politically.

“There is a long list of things we can do with the UK.

“Perhaps eliminating tariffs on industrial goods trade, doing some things on regulatory reform with mutual recognition, promoting small enterprise exports across the Atlantic.

“There is a lot of things including a chapter on the digital economy.

“I think the interest is there.

“The pundits who said there would be a big beautiful deal with the US have probably never seen a free trade deal.

“That’s not how it works. They take years to negotiate.

“But what will change is the Biden administration will not seek to undermine the EU. It will not seek to be a cheerleader for future Brexits.

“Brexit is water under the bridge and there is no desire to reopen that.”

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has insisted the special relationship with the US will endure whoever wins the bitterly contested American election.

He said the “bedrock” of the relationship was based on strong economic, security and cultural ties, although he acknowledged the “contours” would be different depending on whether Mr Biden or Mr Trump won.

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A change of president is thought to have big implications for the UK-US relationship.

Mr Biden treasures his Irish heritage and has warned that a UK-US trade deal is “contingent” on respect for the Good Friday Agreement that brought peace to the island and the prevention of a return to a hard border.

“We can’t allow the Good Friday Agreement that brought peace to Northern Ireland to become a casualty of Brexit,” the Democratic candidate warned in September.

The Foreign Secretary said Democrats take a “very close interest” in the Good Friday Agreement, which was signed while Bill Clinton was in the White House.

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