Britain must strive for a quick and seamless Brexit transition before a trade deal with the U.S. can be struck, business leaders there warned last night. But America remains “eager” to strengthen its special relationship by boosting trade ties once Britain leaves the European Union.
The first major report by the U.S.-UK Business Council follows the arrival to London of new US Ambassador Woody Johnson, the charismatic billionaire and owner of the New York Jets American football team.
The Trump appointee, whose great-grandfather founded pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson, has indicated he will “strengthen the special relationship” between both countries.
Last night sources said his brief boiled down to two things: “Jobs, jobs, jobs and security.”
The U.S.-UK Business Council was recently launched by the US Chamber of Commerce as the “leading voice of an American business community to engage with policymakers on deepening trade and investment ties between the U.S. and the UK.”
Its report cites seven areas where, chief executives of major US businesses say, Brexit should be as painless as possible. It puts as much pressure on Brussels as London to make this happen. The report says the EU could use the Lisbon Treaty Article 8 as the basis for a bespoke agreement with Britain. This calls for the EU to develop “a special relationship with neighbouring countries,” allowing it to adopt specific agreements with them.
The US says Britain should impose no tariffs with the EU – and in return Brussels in turn should “not unduly tie the UK’s hands on future trade deals.”
Myron Brilliant, executive vice president for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, has said the relationship will always be special between Britain and America. He added: “as long as the right principles are upheld in the coming negotiations, we’ll have an opportunity to build upon our already strong and ever more prosperous foundation.”
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