Boris Johnson has been warned by union chiefs not to “cosy up” to Donald Trump during US trade talks.
They urged him to concentrate on striking a deal with the European Union – the UK’s biggest trading partner.
Negotiations begin in Brussels today with the two sides on collision course over key issues including business competition, workers’ rights and the courts.
Downing Street has confirmed that talks with the United States will begin later this month – potentially putting a deal with the EU at risk.
The Prime Minister, who set out his mandate for negotiations with the US last night, is under pressure to block them from getting access to the NHS or demanding lower food standards or workers’ rights.
In particular, ministers have faced demands to rule out American pharma firms getting access to the NHS’s drugs supply, massively hiking prices.
They also face calls to prevent chlorinated chicken and hormone-treated beef being imported from the US in any deal, with animal welfare and environmental concerns raised.
Mr Johnson said: “We have the best negotiators in the business and of course, we’re going to drive a hard bargain to boost British industry.”
Downing Street added that the Government would “rigorously protect” the NHS.
But ministers could struggle to reassure that important areas such as the NHS, food safety standards, data privacy and workers’ rights will not be put at risk from a multi-billion pound agreement.
Union chiefs claimed that President Trump’s only aim was to “line the pockets” of his corporate backers.
TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “The Government should be focused on getting a good trade deal with the EU – not cosying up to Donald Trump.
“President Trump doesn’t care about the UK. The only trade agreement he wants to strike is one that will line the pockets of his corporate backers.
“ Boris Johnson is wrong to rush into these talks. A bad trade deal with the US will put working people’s jobs and rights on the line. And it will undermine our vital public services, environment and food standards.”
No 10 published analysis showing the UK economy could benefit from a £3.4bn boost, as the trade deal could increase transatlantic trade flows by £15.3bn.
In 2018, UK exports to the EU were £291bn (45% of the total), while imports were £357bn (53% of the total).
The US was the UK’s single bilateral trading partner, exporting £121bn of goods and services to the US in 2018, 19% of total exports.
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