Post-Brexit UK-US trade deal will be 'incredibly difficult': Lord Philip Hammond

4 November 2020, 08:11 | Updated: 5 November 2020, 15:06

By Fiona Jones

Former Foreign Secretary Lord Philip Hammond explained why he thinks a post-Brexit UK-US trade deal will be 'incredibly difficult' to make - irrespective of which candidate wins.

Whether the next US president is Joe Biden, or continues to be Donald Trump, the former Foreign Secretary believes that striking a deal with the country will be a tough task.

"I've always been a sceptic about the US-UK trade deal. I think it's going to be incredibly difficult to do a deal...irrespective of the candidates," said Lord Philip, "partly because of the issues around agricultural produce and I expect it will be very difficult to do a deal.

"Even if we did do a deal, I think we have to be very very careful about what the implications would be for the UK.

"Trade is a two-way path, it's not just about opening up export markets for British exporters, it's about opening our own markets to American producers.

"We know America has higher labour productivity than us, lower energy costs than us, lower raw material costs...many British manufacturers will be quite nervous about opening up the market to US manufacturers."

Nick moved on to asked Lord Philip, who also served as a former Chancellor, how he felt about the second national lockdown which will come into effect from midnight tonight.

He told Nick he was very nervous: "Businesses are in a very fragile position and another period of lockdown is going to put more and more pressure on them. I think it raises the likelihood that we will see significant number of business failures in the new year."