Trump willing to do ‘quick’ post-Brexit US-UK trade deal

President-elect Donald Trump has said a US-UK trade deal could be “done quickly and done properly” after Britain completes its exit from the European Union.

In an interview with The Times and German newspaper Bild published on Monday, Mr Trump said the UK was “doing great” following the referendum vote to leave the EU, and said he considered that Britain had been “so smart in getting out.”His remarks were reported on the day before Prime Minister Theresa May is expected to make a speech in which she will set out the UK's criteria in the Brexit negotiations with the rest of the EU.Also on Monday, Ted Malloch, a UK-based professor who is expected to be appointed by Mr Trump as the new US ambassador to the EU, told the BBC that the Transantlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) – the stalled free trade agreement between the US and EU – could form the basis for new trade arrangements not only with the UK but with other European nations who chose to leave the EU.Mr Trump, who was interviewed for The Times by former Justice Secretary Michael Gove, firmly contradicted pre-referendum comments by President Barack Obama that Britain would be ”at the back of the queue” for a new trade deal with the US if it voted to leave the EU.
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Asked by Mr Gove if the UK was now “at the front of the queue,” Mr Trump replied, “I think it's going great. Trump said Brexit is going to happen, and it happened. Everybody thought I was crazy. Obama said, 'They'll go to the back of the line' and then he had to retract his statement.“Countries want their own identity and the UK wanted its own identity, but I do think if they hadn't been forced to take in all of the refugees then you wouldn't have a Brexit.“We're gonna work very hard to get it (a trade deal) done quickly and done properly. Good for both sides.”Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, who held talks last week with senior Trump aides in New York, said on a trip to Brussels, “I think it's very good news that the United States of America wants to deal a good free trade deal with us and wants to do it very fast, and it's great to hear that from President-elect Donald Trump. Clearly it will have to be a deal that is very much in the interests of both sides, but I have no doubt that it will be.”Prof Malloch, currently a professor at Henley Business School in Reading, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme, “If you want to facilitate something it can be done in an expeditious manner, so I would hope on the day Britain triggers Article 50 Mrs May would be able to announce we have just started discussions with the United States.”He said America could use the TTIP as a basis for a deal with Britain and that it could then be offered as a model for other bilateral agreements with EU nations. “On their own accord, there are at least three or four maybe more European countries who would like to have a referendum and we’ll see what their populations say,” said Prof Malloch, who will be attending Mr Trump's inauguration in Washington on Friday.“You start at the lowest level and you see where it goes; you could build up. TTIP would be a place to probably originate the conversation. It’s the EU deal on a bilateral basis. The idea of offering such a deal negotiated on a bilateral basis to other European countries is an ingenious one and it also circumvents a certain bureaucratic organisation called the European Union.”In his Times interview, Mr Trump said he would sign orders as early as next Monday to strengthen America's borders. Measures could include travel restrictions on Europeans coming to the US as well as ‘extreme vetting’ of those entering from parts of the world known for Islamic terrorism.With Mrs May expected to travel to Washington in the spring to meet Mr Trump, Mr Gove told ITV, “It is clear he is looking forward to meeting Theresa May, he had very warm words about her and about Britain generally. He is a businessman. The important thing about any world leader dealing with Donald Trump is to think 'How can I get a deal that suits us both?'“But there is an additional benefit for Britain – his mum comes from Scotland and he has a soft spot for Scotland particularly, but Britain generally. That came through in the interview, that he wants to make sure that America and Britain have a strong business relationship but he also wants to make sure that Britain flourishes because we have got a special place in his heart.”For more news and features about the impact of Brexit in the UK and across the globe, visit our Brexit section.The following sections may also be of interest: Enterprise, International AssignmentsAccess hundreds of global services and suppliers in our Online DirectoryClick to get to the Relocate Global Online Directory  Get access to our free Global Mobility Toolkit Global Mobility Toolkit download factsheets resource centre

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