A leading ally of Donald Trump has claimed the US President was a ‘leaver before there were leavers’ and would ‘enthusiastically’ support the UK quitting the EU without a deal.
John Bolton, the US national security adviser who is in London for talks, said the UK will be ‘first in line’ for a trade deal with the US once it has split from Brussels.
He urged British officials to ‘get Brexit done’ as soon as possible to allow Washington and London to start formally working on new mutually beneficial trading arrangements.
Speaking following a meeting with Prime Minister Boris Johnson he said the US could pursue quick ‘sector-by-sector’ trade deals with Britain after Brexit and focus on areas like manufacturing and car-making where the two countries may agree.
Work on more complicated areas like finance would be undertaken at a later date.
He said US trade negotiators believed such a sector-by-sector approach would be acceptable under World Trade Organisation rules.
Mr Bolton also said issues like security in Iran and fears over Huawei’s involvement in the UK’s 5G network could wait until after Brexit to be resolved.
Referring to comments made by Barack Obama ahead of the 2016 EU referendum, he said: ‘A prior American president said that if the United Kingdom left the European Union, it would go to the back of the queue on trade deals.
‘To be clear, in the Trump administration, Britain’s constantly at the front of the trade queue, or line as we say.’
Outlining his support for the UK leaving the EU, he added: ‘Both President Trump and I were leavers before there were leavers.’
Mr Bolton also lashed out at the EU as he claimed the bloc’s approach to democratic decisions it does not like is to try to ‘make the peasants vote again’.