PRIME MINISTER Boris Johnson and US President Donald Trump spoke on the phone on Tuesday night, the details of which will go far to assuage Brexiteers concerns following recent remarks.
Speaking to Donald Trump, the Prime Minister reportedly welcomed the US military operation which led to the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, and the two discussed meeting at next month’s NATO summit. But it was Boris Johnson’s prompts for the US President to lift tariffs on Scotch whisky and not to impose any further tariffs on car exports which really caught Brexiteer’s attention.
The two leaders discussed the future of a US trade policy during the Tuesday evening phone call.
A Downing Street spokesman said: “The Prime Minister urged the President to lift tariffs on goods including Scotch whisky, and ahead of a US decision on additional tariffs urged him not to impose tariffs on car exports.”
Donald Trump also reaffirmed his commitment to a “robust free trade deal” with the UK after Brexit.
A White House spokesman said: “The two leaders again reaffirmed their commitment to strengthening the special relationship through a robust bilateral free trade agreement once the United Kingdom leaves the European Union.
“The President also stressed the need for Nato allies to robustly fund their defences.”
The comments will be welcome news to Brexiteers concerned after comments made by the US President in an interview with Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage last week.
In a phone interview on LBC Radio, Mr Trump said Mr Johnson’s Brexit deal could prevent the UK from agreeing a trade deal with the US.
He said the US “can’t make a trade deal with the UK” under “certain aspects of the deal”, despite Mr Johnson’s claims it would allow the UK to have an independent trade policy.
Mr Trump said: “We want to do trade with the UK but to be honest with you, this deal, under certain aspects of the deal, you can’t do it.
“You can’t trade. We can’t make a trade deal with the UK.
“I think we can do many times the numbers we’re doing right now, and certainly much bigger numbers than you’re doing under the EU.
“Boris wants to be very careful with it. Under certain ways, we would be precluded, which would be ridiculous.”
He added Mr Johnson is a “fantastic man and [the]exact right guy for the times”, and said he could form an “unstoppable force” by pairing with Mr Farage.
He said Mr Johnson “has a lot of respect and like” for Mr Farage.
He said: “He respects you a lot, I can tell you that, he respects you a lot, I don’t know if you know that or not.
“But, because I have no idea, I have enough to do over here without having to worry about the psychology of two brilliant people over there, frankly.
“I wish you two guys could get together, I think it would be a great thing.”
Mr Farage agreed with Trump’s criticism of Johnson’s deal, as he has been arguing it represents “Brexit in name only”.
The former UKIP leader also vowed the Brexit party would challenge the Conservatives at the ballot box.
Mr Trump also used the LBC interview to deny claims made by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn the NHS was up for sale to American health corporations.
He said: “I don’t even know where [it]started with respect to us taking over your healthcare system. I mean it’s so ridiculous.
“I think Corbyn put that out there, but to even think, it was never even mentioned, I never even heard it until I went over to visit with the Queen.”