Good morning. Today the UK starts trade talks with the EU, and the negotiations will take place with Boris Johnson’s government saying it is willing to abandon the process, and revert to planning for a WTO “no deal” Brexit, if it Is not making enough progress by June. The government will be negotiating a trade deal with the US at the same time, and this morning, ahead of the publication of its negotiating objectives, Liz Truss, the international trade secretary, said the UK would be willing to walk away from these talks too if Washington is not prepared to accept UK red lines on food safety standards. In an interview with the BBC she said:
I can absolutely guarantee that in a trade deal with the US we will not diminish our food safety standards, and we will also not put the NHS on the table, or the price the NHS pays for drugs on the table. Those are two very clear red lines in our trade deal.
But I would also point out that there are huge potential benefits for all parts of Britain from a trade deal with the US. Our economic study shows a potential £ 27 bn benefit for trade … and every single part of the country stands to benefit, with particularly the Midlands, the north east and Scotland likely to benefit the most.
So there are big opportunities there.
But if we don’t get the deal we want, we will be prepared to walk away, and that includes the red lines of food standards and the national health service.BBC Breakfast (@ BBCBreakfast)
“If we don’t get the deal we want we will be prepared to walk away” (International Trade Secretary, Liz Truss MP, tells # BBCBreakfast there are “red lines” over the (# NHS and # foodstandards when it comes to the UK / US trade deal.