Earlier I wrote about how a paper circulated to ministers before Chequers makes clear that the UK’s plan to follow a ‘common rulebook for all goods including agri-food’ with the EU ‘would not allow the UK to accommodate a likely ask from the US in a future trade deal’ as the UK would be unable to recognise the US’s ‘array of standards’.
But Number 10 are absolutely insistent that this doesn’t mean there won’t be a trade deal with the US; they also say that senior figures in government and trade experts are confident that a deal could still be done and that Theresa May wouldn’t be talking to Donald Trump about a trade deal next week if one wasn’t possible. They maintain that the inability to accommodate this American ask won’t prevent a post-Brexit trade deal with the US.
Now the US does push very hard for all trade deals to recognise its standards —something that one would expect to be even more of the case under this president. But Number 10 is adamant that the nature of the US / UK relationship means that a comprehensive free trade deal with the US can be done despite this restriction.