Boris Johnson says UK is top of queue for Trump trade deal

Counters US President Barack Obama's warning that a US-UK deal would be last on America's list of priorities...

Boris Johnson says UK is top of queue for Trump trade deal

Picture by Stefan Rousseau PA Archive/PA Images

Boris Johnson has declared Britain is "first in line" for a trade deal with the US, after meeting Donald Trump's senior advisers for talks.

The UK Foreign Secretary, who once quipped he would not visit parts of New York because of the "real risk of meeting Donald Trump", praised the US President-elect's "very exciting agenda of change".

He also said relations between the UK and US would remain close once Mr Trump takes office on 20 January.

Outgoing US President Barack Obama warned during the EU referendum campaign that Britain would be at the "back of the queue" for a trading agreement if voters opted to leave the EU.

 Johnson said:

"Clearly, the Trump administration-to-be has a very exciting agenda of change.

"One thing that won't change though is the closeness of the relationship between the US and the UK.

"We are the number two contributor to defence in NATO. We are America's principal partner in working for global security and, of course, we are great campaigners for free trade.

"We hear that we are first in line to do a great free trade deal with the United States. So, it's going to be a very exciting year for both our countries."

Johnson also met Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner and his chief strategist Steve Bannon in New York after flying there on Sunday.

He has also been meeting other key Republicans in Washington, including House Speaker Paul Ryan.

British PM Theresa May is due to meet Mr Trump in Washington next month.

Speaking to Sky News' Sophy Ridge on Sunday, May said Trump's previous lewd remarks about women were "unacceptable".

He faced an angry backlash during last year's presidential campaign after a 2005 recording emerged of him boasting about groping women.

In her first broadcast interview of the year, May was critical of the comments, but pointed out that Trump had since apologised for them.

"But the relationship that the UK has with the United States is about something much bigger than just the relationship between the two individuals as president and prime minister," she continued.

"That's important, but actually we have a long-standing special relationship with the United States.

"It's based on shared values and it is a relationship where, actually in the UK, we feel we can say to the US if we disagree with something that they are doing."

Trump has tweeted he was "very much" looking forward to meeting May, adding that he considered Britain to be a "very special" ally.

Additional reporting by IRN