Brexit: Boris Johnson's position 'noticeably weaker' says Habib
The President-elect has outlined his vision for his first few days in the White House and confirmed it does not involve a trade deal with Boris Johnson. Instead, the former vice-president has said he will adopt a similar “America First” policy as Mr Trump and will “fight like hell” to invest in US firms and employees.
The 78-year-old said: “I’m not going to enter any new trade agreement with anybody until we have made major investments here at home and in our workers and in education.”
Speaking to the New York Times, Mr Biden added: “I want to make sure we’re going to fight like hell by investing in America first.”
Britain will officially leave the EU customs union and single market from January 1 and would then be free to formally start a new trading relationship with nations around the world.
Mr Biden will be inaugurated as the 46th US President on January 20 and UK officials have already made contact with senior Democrat figures.
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Mr Biden, who served as second in command during the Barack Obama administration, has previously made his anti-Brexit views known.
Prior to the EU referendum in 2016, former president Obama famously said the UK would be at the “back of the queue” for a US trade deal if the British people voted to leave.
Later that year, Mr Biden admitted he would have voted to stay in the EU if he was British.
Most recently, Mr Biden warned the Prime Minister there would be no US trade deal if the Good Friday Agreement became a “casualty” of Brexit.
In September, he said: “We can’t allow the Good Friday Agreement that brought peace to Northern Ireland to become a casualty of Brexit.
“Any trade deal between the US and UK must be contingent upon respect for the Agreement and preventing the return of a hard border. Period.”
But, on Thursday, the UK was given an unexpected boost after Donald Trump’s trade representative confirmed he is in talks with the UK over an agreement before the 45th US President leaves office next month.
Robert Lighthizer confirmed discussion are ongoing with International Trade Secretary Liz Truss over a series of mini-deals.
Speaking to the BBC, he concluded a deal could be agreed to remove tariffs on Scotch whisky which currently amounts to £5.6billion.
Mr Lighthizer said: “I’m talking to Liz Truss about trying to work out some kind of a deal.
“I’m hopeful we can get some kind of an agreement out, you know, we don’t have a lot of time left.
“We have the advantage in that both the US and the UK – particularly the current Government of the UK – are not big subsidisers, where some other countries are more inclined to subsidise.
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“So it would be helpful if we could come to some kind of agreement.”
The Department for International Trade has already confirmed post-Brexit trade deals have been secured with 58 countries – including Canada, Japan and Mexico.
The agreements are worth £198billion and covers 96 percent of non-EU trade.
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