DONALD Trumps London ambassador has promised US officials will work “day and night” to get a bumper trade deal.
Woody Johnson also said the US would help Britain get a good trade deal with Brussels by running talks in parallel after Britain formally leaves the EU on January 31.
He said a post-Brexit trade deal with the UK was a top priority for Mr Trump, who he said was resolute in his determination to get it done.
The comments come as a major boost for the PMs strategy to run trade talks with the US and the EU in tandem, which Brexiteers argue will give Britain more leverage in negotiations with Brussels and making it more likely that Brussels strikes a quick deal and offers better terms.
Downing Street confirmed earlier this week that it is aiming to open formal trade talks with the US soon after our EU exit on January 31.
And negotiations with the EU over our future partnership are also expected to start towards the end of next month, with Boris setting a firm deadline of December 2020 to conclude an agreement.
In an interview with LBC Radio, the US Ambassador also categorically ruled out the prospect of the NHS being on the table in trade talks with the UK.
Asked whether America wants to buy the NHS, he said: No, no and double no. No, no.
The President said, you know, he made that silver platter remark, which I think you remember. If you gave it to him on a silver platter, he wouldn’t take it.
No. I mean, we’ve got our own issues dealing with health care. It’s a major, major issue.
The diplomat said opening talks with not only the US but other members of the Five Eyes security alliance – such as New Zealand and Australia – will help secure better terms out of the EU.
He said: Having a trade deal with the US and maybe the Five Eyes will strengthen your hand when you are negotiating with your closest geographically trading partner, which is the EU.
Stressing how keen Mr Trump is to strike a close agreement with the UK, Mr Johnson said: He’s very bullish.
And he said, you know, dozens of times that I’ve seen him say how excited he is about the prospect of a closer relationship, trade-wise, free trade agreement with the UK and how encouraged he is by all the capabilities of this great country and how it’s so important to the US that we have security and our prosperity are so closely linked.
The US Ambassador added: He wants to get it done. Take him at his word, and start working on it day and night. It would be my suggestion.