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Biden delivers blow to UK’s hopes of US trade deal

UK could now seek alternative arrangement

Britain’s hopes of a post-Brexit trade agreement with America seem to have disappeared after news emerged that Joe Biden and Boris Johnson held talks on the matter.

It is an issue which has been highlighted as a key selling-point of Brexit by Johnson, as it would have represented Britain’s new found freedom from the EU.

However, sources close to talks now seem to think there is little prospect of a deal, especially as Biden has other priorities.

Having been asked for un update on the matter, Johnson said, “we’re going as fast as we can”, although he did not confirm whether a deal would be in place or not before 2024.

Reports now suggest that the UK is looking at alternative options, including joining the US-Canada-Mexico trade deal instead of striking a bilateral agreement with Washington.

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A senior government source said: “There are a variety of different ways to do this. The question is whether the US administration is ready. The ball is in the US’s court. It takes two to tango.”

Biden also made his views clear on ensuring peace in Northern Ireland is not in doubt as a result of post-Brexit tensions.

“I feel very strongly,” he said. “We spent an enormous amount of time and effort in the United States. It was a major partisan effort, and I would not like to see – nor would many of my Republican colleagues – a change in the Irish accord”.

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