Aug 13, 2019

Bolton: Trump administration enthusiastically backs no-deal Brexit

National Security Adviser John Bolton addresses journalists in London Monday. Photo: Peter Nicholls/Reuters

The Trump administration supports a no-deal Brexit and Britain is "first in line" for a trade deal with the U.S., National Security Adviser John Bolton told reporters after meeting with U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the BBC reports.

"To be clear, in the Trump administration, Britain's constantly at the front of the trade queue, or line as we say. We want to move very quickly. We wish we could have moved further along in this with the prior government."

The state of play: Brexit talks with the European Union have reached an impasse. Johnson wants to renegotiate the terms ahead of Britain's scheduled exit from the EU on Oct. 31. The EU refuses to meet Johnson's demands.

  • The U.K. would leave the EU without a formal transition period or legal agreement on issues including border policy and trade if no deal is reached.
  • Bolton told reporters if the British government opts for a no-deal Brexit, "we would support it enthusiastically," according to Reuters.

The big picture: Bolton said the U.K. and U.S. could sign a series of sector-by-sector free-trade deals ahead of a comprehensive trade agreement as a way of helping the British government cope with the consequences of a no-deal Brexit, according to the Guardian.

"The ultimate end result is a comprehensive trade agreement covering all trading goods and services. But to get to that you could do it sector by sector, and you can do it in a modular fashion. In other words, you can carve out some areas where it might be possible to reach a bilateral agreement very quickly, very straightforwardly."

Go deeper: Everything you need to know about Brexit

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Trump promises "very big trade deal" with U.K. as Brexit deadline looms

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson and President Donald Trump at the G7 summit in Biarritz, France, Sunday. Photo: Stefan Rousseau/Pool/Getty Images

President Donald Trump promised Britain Sunday a "very big trade deal" with the U.S. — "bigger than we’ve ever had with the U.K." — and declared British Prime Minister Boris Johnson the "right man" to oversee Brexit, Reuters reports.

The big picture: Trump said Britain leaving the EU would be like losing "an anchor round the ankle," per the BBC. But as the Oct. 31 Brexit deadline looms, it is still unclear whether the United Kingdom can leave the European Union with an agreement in place or, indeed, whether the U.K. will leave the EU. Johnson has vowed it will happen "do or die," but experts warn that leaving without a deal could have catastrophic consequences.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Aug 25, 2019

Pelosi rules out U.K. trade deal if Brexit creates hard border with Ireland

Nancy Pelosi speaks at a reception hosted by Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in the State Apartments in Dublin Castle. Photo: Iain White/Pool/Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement Wednesday that there is "no chance" of a U.S.-U.K. trade deal passing Congress if Brexit violates the terms of the Good Friday Agreement, which helped bring peace to Northern Ireland in 1998 by creating a seamless Irish border.

The big picture: Pelosi's statement is in response to comments made by national security adviser John Bolton, who said this week that the Trump administration enthusiastically supports a no-deal Brexit and that the U.K. is "first in line" for a trade deal with the U.S. If Prime Minister Boris Johnson takes the U.K. out of the EU without a deal on Oct. 31, as is the legal default, customs checkpoints would theoretically need to be erected along the Irish border — risking a flareup of sectarian violence.

Go deeperArrowAug 14, 2019

France says EU won't grant Brexit extension if U.K. doesn't have a plan

Boris Johnson leads a bull around a pen as he visits Darnford Farm in Aberdeen, Scotland. Photo: Andrew Milligan - WPA Pool/Getty Images

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said Sunday that the European Union will not grant the U.K. an extension to its Oct. 31 Brexit deadline if the current situation doesn't change, Bloomberg reports.

"We won’t start over again every three months. Let the British Parliament, let the British authorities tell us what’s the path."
Go deeperArrowSep 8, 2019