As Britain prepares to leave the European Union on Oct. 31, its biggest geopolitical shift since World War Two, many diplomats expect London to become increasingly reliant on the United States.
Bolton, in London for two days of talks with British officials, is seeking an improved U.S.-British relationship with Prime Minister Boris Johnson after sometimes tense ties between Trump and Johnson’s predecessor, Theresa May.
A central message Bolton was making is that the United States will help cushion Britain’s exit from the EU with a free trade deal that is being negotiated by U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and his British counterpart, Liz Truss.
A senior Trump administration official, describing Bolton’s message to British officials, said the president “wants to see a successful British exit from the European Union” and that a trade deal would help Britain.
Trump had wanted to work with the May government on a trade deal but her government “didn’t want do it. This government does. We’re very happy about it,” the official told reporters travelling with Bolton.
Trump believes that “when it comes to trade negotiations the EU is worse than China, only smaller”, the official said.
Johnson spoke to Trump on Monday, discussing Brexit, trade and economic issues, his office said. “They discussed global economic issues and trade, and the prime minister updated the president on Brexit,” Downing Street said.
“The President expressed his appreciation for the United Kingdom’s steadfast partnership in addressing global challenges and looks forward to meeting with him (Johnson) personally in the near future,” the White House said.
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