US president Donald Trump on Tuesday said that his country was looking forward to negotiating a “tremendous” post-Brexit trade deal with the United Kingdom.
"We look forward to negotiating a tremendous new deal with the United Kingdom, which has a wonderful new prime minister, who wants very much to make a deal,” Trump said at the World Economic Forum in Davos.
Prime minister Boris Johnson has prioritised trade negotiations with the US once the UK leaves the European Union at the end of this month.
Talks with the Trump administration are expected to occur in parallel with negotiations with the EU.
The UK has just 11 months to conclude trade pacts, something that raises the risk that it could essentially crash out of its trade arrangements at the end of December.
A trade deal with the US is coveted by Brexiteers, who believe it could allow a post-Brexit UK to prosper.
Johnson is thought to be planning a major speech on the UK’s future after Brexit, ahead of a potential trip to Washington, when he is expected to fire the starting gun on the negotiations.
‘Not a time for pessimism’
Referencing climate change critics and doom and gloom about trade, Trump said that it was “not a time for pessimism.”
“This is a time for optimism. Fear and doubt is not a good thought process, because this is a time for tremendous hope and joy and optimism and action,” he said.
“But to embrace the possibilities of tomorrow, we must reject the perennial prophets of doom and their predictions of the apocalypse,” Trump said, in what will likely be interpreted as a veiled jab at climate change activist Greta Thunberg.
“They are the heirs of yesterday’s foolish fortune tellers, and I have them and you have them and they want to see us do badly, but we don’t let happen,” he said.
“They predicted an overpopulation crisis in the 1960s, and starvation in the 70s. And an end of oil in the 1990s.”
“We will never let radical socialists destroy our country or eradicate our liberty.”