Biden win removes massive Brexit trade sticking point – ex-Trump adviser predicts deal
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The former vice-president is now President-Elect, with networks and media outlets declaring him the winner of the often-acrimonious contest after he was projected to carry the US state of Pennsylvania, with its 20 electoral college votes take past the 270 needed to take the White House. Mr Trump, who has levelled allegations of voter fraud without citing evidence to back up his claims, has vowed to contest the result in the courts – but it seems Mr Biden’s administration is already looking to future trading relations with the UK.
Diplomatic sources have claimed Mr Biden is ready to drop the insistence on the UK lowering its food standard – for instance with respect to accepting imports of chlorinated chicken and hormone-fed beef – in order to get a deal over the line.
If so, it would represent a huge win for Mr Johnson, given Britain’s farmers, and many of his own MPs, are vehemently opposed to the prospect.
Specifically, Mr Biden has been tipped to reverse Mr Trump’s decision to pull the US out of the planned Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which also includes Japan, Australia, Canada and New Zealand.
The network, which is now known as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), and which the UK hopes to join after Brexit, stipulates the kind of high food standards currently applied in the UK.
One source said: “That potentially helps the UK and spares Boris from an unpalatable choice – winning a great post-Brexit trade deal or sticking to the Tory manifesto pledge that they won’t sell out our farms and their world-class food.”
Speaking of Mr Biden’s victory, National Farmers’ Union president Minette Batters said: “It will give hope to those who seek global leadership in tackling climate change.
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“Covid has brought into sharp focus the need to re-evaluate our food system and drive higher standards.”
Speaking to Express.co.uk on Friday, John Bolton, Mr Trump’s former national security adviser, suggested Mr Johnson would do well to contact Mr Biden at the earliest possible opportunity to discuss a trade deal – and predicted it would be easier to wrap one up than previously predicted.
In respect of remarks by former president Barack Obama about Britain being “at the back of the queue” for a trade deal if it opted to quit the bloc, Mr Bolton said: “I know there is concern given what Obama said when he was over visiting Cameron before the referendum in 2016.
“But that is before the vote was taken, it was before four years of agony, before it was finally made clear that the people’s referendum would be followed.
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“So Biden has to face that situation. It’s not hypothetically what if Britain votes to leave.
“They HAVE voted to leave so it is ‘What are you going to do about it?’
“I think it is clearly in the interests of the United States and in the interests of the UK to sign this deal as quickly as possible.
“That would be the point that I would suggest Boris Johnson makes.
“He should say we have made our choice and because the economies of the two countries are so closely related we can resolve the issues and move forward.
“I will be surprised if Biden shows any kind of reluctance to make this deal work.”
Mr Bolton, who acrimoniously parted ways with the President in September of last year also suggested despite the positive noises made by Mr Trump on the subject, he had demonstrated little willingness to get a deal ratified.
He explained: “I’ve been a strong supporter of Brexit for a long time.
“Unfortunately that was typical of him – there was not necessarily action.
“We missed a lot of opportunities which I regret.
“He would talk about it and I think he supported Brexit.
“But when it came to implementing the abstract idea he didn’t weigh in with his officials and say this is a priority with me, make this great deal and get it done.”
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