Theresa May said she remains "confident" a trade deal with the United States can be signed, in the wake of Donald Trump's inauguration speech that signalled a return to protectionism and trade deals that would only benefit America.
The Prime Minister is set to visit Mr Trump in Washington DC next week and said she would hold "very frank" talks with the new President, who last week indicated a trade deal with the UK could be done quickly and ‘properly.’
In his inaugural address, President Trump said that "every decision on trade... will be made to benefit American workers and American families.”
On Friday the White House website was updated, with all mention of climate change removed, and a specific section on trade deals added, which states that trade policies ‘will be implemented by and for the American people.’
In an interview with the Financial Times, Mrs May said: "I'm confident we can look at areas even in advance of being able to sign a formal trade deal.
"Perhaps we could look at barriers to trade at the moment and remove some of those barriers to open up that new trading relationship."
Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson is currently in Burma, and told reporters he was "very optimistic" about a US/UK trade deal but said "it's got to work for the UK as well".
"I think that the new president has made it very clear that he wants to put Britain at the front of the line for a new trade deal and obviously that's extremely exciting and important," he said.
Ms May distanced herself from remarks by the new President that the EU was a ‘vehicle for Germany’ and that he would welcome its break-up.
Mrs May said: "I'm also confident the USA will recognise the importance of the co-operation we have in Europe to ensure our collective defence and collective security."
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