Trade secretary Fox in Washington for talks over US deal

UK trade representatives have arrived in Washington in order to discuss a post-Brexit trade deal with their US counterparts.

According to EU rules, the UK cannot sign any trade deal with other states unilaterally until it has officially left the bloc, but international trade secretary Liam Fox is due to meet Robert Lighthizer and Wilbur Ross to discuss a deal in any case.

The UK is likely to cease to be a member of the single market when it exits the bloc in March 2019, and must begin to negotiate its own trade agreements from that point on.

“Our exit from the European Union offers an unprecedented opportunity to reshape our independent trading ambitions and build on the already strong trading relationship with our single largest trading partner — the U.S.,” Fox said in a statement.

The trade secretary added that discussions were still at a preliminary stage and it was too early to ascertain any details that may emerge from the talks.

Fox said that there would be a working group set up in order to thrash out the various sections of the potential agreement.

“The working group is the means to ensure we get to know each other’s issues and identify areas where we can work together to strengthen trade and investment ties.”

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