Brexit: Barnier says question will divide UK for ‘years to come’
Mr Johnson discussed the potential benefits of a free trade deal, with a Downing Street spokesperson saying the Prime Minister reiterated his intention to resolve the outstanding issues as soon as possible. Tension still remains over the controversial Scottish Whisky tariff after US trade officials under Donald Trump introduced crippling barriers on the sector last year.
UK Trade Secretary Liz Truss is seeking an early meeting with Mr Biden’s trade tsar, Katherine Tai, as soon as possible.
Following the call, Mr Johnson tweeted: “Great to speak to President Joe Biden this evening.
“I look forward to deepening the long-standing alliance between our two countries as we drive a green and sustainable recovery from COVID-19.”
No10 said Mr Johnson and Mr Biden “discussed the benefits of a potential free trade deal between our two countries, and the Prime Minister reiterated his intention to resolve existing trade issues as soon as possible”.
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However, The White House did not list trade as the topic of conversations discussed between the pair last night.
It is understood Mr Johnson is the first European leader to have spoken to the new president after he had calls on Friday with Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.
There will be some relief in Downing Street at the early call however the Prime Minister is regarded with deep suspicion by some senior Democrats around Mr Biden who was no fan of Brexit.
A senior Joe Biden transition team official told Express.co.uk earlier this week: “Mr Biden’s notes the international stage is important.
“We are watching Scotland and the UK, it’s important that allies look out for each other.”
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8am update: Arlene Foster predicts problems with the Northern Ireland protocol
Problems with the Northern Ireland protocol were predictable and had been foreseen, the First Minister of Northern Ireland has said.
Hauliers have faced difficulties transporting stock to Northern Ireland from the rest of the UK and pet owners have to organise unnecessary veterinary procedures for rabies if they want to bring their animals across the Irish Sea.
Northern Ireland is continuing to follow some of the EU’s rules to prevent the establishment of a hard border on the island of Ireland.
Arlene Foster told BBC Radio 4: “It is most definitely a structural problem in the Northern Ireland protocol.
“We warned about that last year when people voted to bring in the protocol, that there would be difficulties moving between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.”
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