UK pushes the US to make it easy for Brits to work in America as part of bumper trade deal


THE UK is pushing the US to make it easier for Brits to work in America as part of a bumper trade deal.
Last week the two sides finished the first round of trade talks, conducted virtually.

Trade Secretary Liz Truss said both sides want trade talks to proceed at an ‘accelerated pace’

Making it easier to transfer workers between the UK and US was the single most important demand from businesses during the Government’s public consultation – conducted before the trade talks began.

UK trade officials are said to be pursuing a fast-tracked visa as one of their requests in the trade talks.

But one of the stumbling blocks is the United States Trade Representative – the American government agency leading the talks on their side – does not have the freedom to include visas in their mandate.

They are bound by Congress, so the UK negotiating team is planning to embark on a charm offensive of US Congressmen in a bid to include visas in the trade deal.

UK Trade Secretary Liz Truss said both sides want the talks to proceed at an “accelerated pace” to deliver a “comprehensive” deal.

Critics have warned that striking a deal will require Britain to accept looser US food and environmental standards, as well as opening up the NHS to American firms – something the Government denies.

Ms Truss said that during the talks, conducted remotely due to the coronavirus pandemic, “a number of areas showed particular progress”.

Negotiators “identified a mutually high ambition for services, investment and digital trade”, she said.

“Both sides also set out a mutual commitment to creating new opportunities for businesses on both sides of the Atlantic and to delivering benefits for workers, consumers and farmers.”

The negotiators will “quickly pursue” a standalone chapter covering small and medium-sized firms.

The talks involved around 100 officials on each side covering almost 30 different areas.

Ms Truss and her counterpart, US trade representative Robert Lighthizer, have agreed a second round of virtual talks will take place in the weeks of June 15 and 22.

“Both sides are hopeful that negotiations for a comprehensive trade agreement can proceed at an accelerated pace,” Ms Truss said.

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