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US House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan has called for the US to start negotiating a new free trade deal with Britain to ‘show solidarity’ and ensure a ‘smooth relationship’ post-Brexit.
Mr Ryan, the former Republican vice-presidential candidate and one of the party’ s most senior politicians, said the UK was America’s ‘indispensable ally’ and needed to be helped after it parted ways with the EU.
His comments on the issue are in stark contrast to those of Barack Obama, who warned before the referendum that that a UK out of the EU would be at the ‘back of the queue’ for trade deals with the US.
Mr Ryan said: ‘We need to emphasise that they are our indispensable ally. We have a special relationship, and I think that does mean we should have a trade agreement with Great Britain.’
David Cameron has met top business advisors and said companies must not be ‘fixated’ on the EU and should strive to carve out new opportunities beyond.
Mr Javid will lead trade missions to attract inward investors.
Former Waitrose boss Lord Mark Price, who is now trade minister, is set to visit China, Hong Kong and Brazil.
Officials in Australia and South Korea have also been in touch to discuss new partnerships, and discussions with India could begin soon.
And New Zealand has offered to lend its battle-hardened negotiators to help Britain out.
Its trade minister Todd McClay said Britain was a ‘long- standing friend’ and he wanted ‘to be useful in any way we can be’.
Yesterday the US ambassador to Britain warned that Britain’s decision to leave the EU could still have serious economic consequences for the country.
Matthew Barzun – who was formerly Barack Obama’s chief fundraiser – told BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs that the President was right to warn Britain in April that it would end up at ‘the back of queue’ as a result of Brexit.
In an interview recorded after the referendum, Mr Barzun says it is naive to think that the UK could now somehow ‘jump further ahead’ of its trade rivals.
He adds: ‘The tone in which it was said, there was nothing punitive about it.
‘The point was, you are at the front of the queue right now – he was saying back in April – because we are doing this big trade deal with the European Union, of which you are a member.
‘But if you step out of the front of the queue, by definition you are no longer at the front and some notion that you can jump further ahead; you just want to say that is not the trend for the types of big deals we are doing these days.’