Bolton says US ready to negotiate post-Brexit trade pact
The United States is ready to negotiate a post-Brexit trade deal with the U.K. "in pieces" to help speed the process as Britain prepares to leave the European Union on Oct. 31, National Security Adviser John Bolton said Monday.
A protester with face painted with the colors of British flag during a protest staged by about 20 anti-Brexit demonstrators calling for a second referendum on Brexit in front of EU Commission Building ahead of EU Summit in Brussels, Belgium, March 21, 2019. [File Photo: IC]
Bolton told reporters after meeting with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson in London that a piecemeal approach to trade negotiations was "not unprecedented" and talks between the U.S. and the U.K. could start with areas where the two sides are likely to agree.
"I think here we see the importance and urgency of doing as much as we can agree on as rapidly as possible," he said.
Johnson's office said the prime minister and U.S. President Donald Trump's adviser "spoke about Brexit and a range of other issues - including Iran, Hong Kong and 5G" network security.
Bolton suggested that discussing issues such as U.S. sanctions on Iran and a ban of Chinese tech giant Huawei could wait until after Brexit.
British newspapers reported in May that the U.K. National Security Council, which meets in private, had agreed to let Huawei participate in some aspects of Britain's new 5G wireless communications network.
The United States has been lobbying Britain and other allies to exclude Huawei from their 5G networks, insisting that the Chinese government could force the tech company to give it backdoor access to data.
But the British government has insisted no decision has been made about the use of Huawei's equipment in the U.K.
Bolton said it was an honor for him to meet with Johnson.
"We have a strong commitment to deepening the U.S-UK Special Relationship and working together to address global security issues," Bolton said in a tweet.