UK and US 'hopeful' of trade deal despite coronavirus and Brexit challenges

Lianna Brinded
Head of Yahoo Finance UK
US President Donald Trump and UK prime minister Boris Johnson during the NATO summit on 4 December 2019. (Steve Parsons/PA Wire)

The United States and UK are “hopeful” that they will be able to seal a trade deal at an accelerated pace despite the challenges of the global coronavirus pandemic and Britain’s status of uncertainty over what post-Brexit rules will look like.

Britain’s trade minister Liz Truss said on Monday: “Both sides are hopeful that negotiations for a comprehensive trade agreement can proceed at an accelerated pace.

“Ambassador (Robert) Lighthizer and I agreed that a second virtual round will take place in the weeks of 15 and 26 June, and that in advance of that negotiating teams will continue their work and meet virtually on a rolling basis, with meetings continuing throughout this week and beyond.”

The update comes just three days after trade talks between the European Union and the UK broke up with “very little progress.”

The third round of post-Brexit trade talks between the two sides took place on 15 May. Both sides failed to find common ground and were left disappointed when the summit broke up around lunchtime.

Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator, said he was “disappointed by lack of ambition on the UK side” and said they had “not made any significant progress toward a governance structure.”

“You cannot have the best of both worlds,” Barnier said.

“The next round must bring new dynamism in order to avoid a stalemate between us. Let us make a success of round four in the first week of June by making the tangible progress we need.”