Brexit boost for US-UK trade talks as Liz Truss provides update on vital deal

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In an announcement today, Mr Truss confirmed the latest round of talks with the US had begun. Not only has the latest round of talks commenced but Ms Truss also revealed both sides have agreed to “intensify” negotiations ahead of the US election. The update of the talks will come as a major boost to Boris Johnson’s post-Brexit plans due to the size and importance of the UK’s trade relationship with the US.

In a statement, Ms Truss said: “The 5th round trade talks have started with our great ally the US.

“We’re intensifying negotiations so we are in a good position to move forward after the election.

“We want a deal that delivers for all parts of and is forward-leaning in modern areas like tech & services.”

According to figures released by the Government earlier this year, trade with the US stood at £201.6billion and accounted for 15 percent of the UK’s trade in 2018.

That number was a 5.7 percent increase on the previous year and illustrates why it is essential for the UK to sign a free trade agreement as soon as possible.

The hopes of a trade deal with the US, however, were threatened following the introduction of the UK Internal Market Bill earlier this year.

Amid the accusations over the bill’s threat to the Good Friday Agreement in Ireland, Democrat nominee, Joe Biden warned he would not support any future trade deal if he became President.

Mr Biden’s warning was also echoed by Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi in a blow to the Prime Minister’s plans.

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As well as the threats from across the Atlantic over the chances of a trade deal, there have also been concerns over the standard and quality of imported meat and food from the US.

Due to the practice of chlorinated chicken and hormone-injected beef, some in the UK have stated the UK cannot drop its high agricultural standards in order to secure a deal.

Despite these fears, Ms Truss has insisted the practice of both is already banned in the UK anyway.

She added: “What isn’t helpful is scare stories about hormone beef and chlorinated chicken when it’s already banned in the UK anyway.

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“We’ve imported all the EU laws on food standards and those remain.”

Ms Truss has also insisted MPs will be given more scrutiny over future trade deals in the Commons.

The UK’s own Agriculture Bill is currently passing through the final stages of the Houses of Parliament and will give the UK added protections for the industry.

Peers in the House of Lords had attempted to lay an amendment on the bill in order to force trade to meet UK welfare and food safety rules.

This was rejected by MPs last week but 332 votes to 279, while farming minister, Victoria Prentis claimed the Government was committed to high welfare and agricultural standards.

Commenting on the accusation the UK will import low quality food, Ms Prentis described the claims as “fear-mongering”.

She added in the Commons last week: “We are not going to be importing chlorine-washed chicken or hormone-treated beef. That is the law of this land.

“There is no question of ‘Not yet’.

“This Government are not going to change it under any circumstances.

“We have said very clearly that in all our trade negotiations we will not compromise our high environmental protection, animal welfare or food standards.”

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