PM hails 'great progress' in UK-US trade deal as he meets with Joe Biden

22 September 2021, 01:20 | Updated: 22 September 2021, 03:39

Johnson and Biden discussed trade during their meeting.
Johnson and Biden discussed trade during their meeting. Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

There is already "great progress" in terms of a trade deal with the US, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said.

It comes as Britain is understood to be considering whether to join a trade pact with the US, Mexico and Canada, as hopes fade for a post-Brexit deal with Biden's White House.

Speaking before their meeting, Mr Johnson welcomed the progress the two countries had already made on trade, especially with the ban on British beef imports being lifted.

President Joe Biden added: "And we're going to be working on lamb, too."

The key subject was also discussed during their talks in the Oval Office, with the leaders agreeing to continue working towards a Free Trade Agreement in the future.

Read more: Biden pledges extra $11bn for poorer countries to tackle climate crisis

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The pair met at the White House
The pair met at the White House. Picture: Alamy

After the meeting, Mr Johnson said the UK and US were "the closest of partners".

He tweeted: "We will stand side-by-side to protect our people and defend our values around the world."

A statement from the White House read: "President Biden and Prime Minister Johnson reviewed our cooperation on shared global challenges, including building consensus for action to address the climate crisis, promoting global health security, supporting democracy and human rights, and developing a more inclusive economic future for all countries."

It added: "They also discussed Northern Ireland, and President Biden reiterated his longstanding support for a secure and prosperous Northern Ireland in which all communities have a voice and enjoy the gains of the hard-won peace."

A comprehensive free trade agreement with the US was touted as one of the prizes of Brexit during the 2016 referendum.

However, Mr Johnson previously expressed doubts that he would be able to get such a deal in place ahead of the next general election, saying Mr Biden had "a lot of fish to fry".

Other topics discussed in the meeting included climate change - ahead of the Cop26 summit in November - withdrawal from Afghanistan and international vaccine access.