Top British ministers in United States to 'fast-track' post-Brexit deal

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar speaking to media after touring Hillsborough Castle in Hillsborough Northern Ireland. Liam McBurney  PA Wire

"We in the United Kingdom really prize [the USA -U.K.] relationship, we value it enormously and we really appreciate, both from the administration but also the personal mark you and the president made, the friendship that we have", Mr. Raab said in his opening remarks, "and we look forward to nurturing in the weeks, months and years ahead".

The Trump Administration will pursue a free-trade agreement with Britain as soon as possible after it leaves the EU, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Wednesday as the country's new Foreign Secretary made his 1st official visit to the United States.

Speaking to Sky in Washington today about the meeting the Foreign Secretary said: 'He expressed his high regard for Boris Johnson as a Prime Minister and we talked about all the things that we want to do together in the post-Brexit vision for the UK.

The worldwide trade secretary continued that her team was "fast-tracking this deal so that businesses are able to take advantage of the golden opportunity to increase trade with the U.S.as soon as possible".

Earlier in the day, Michael Gove accused the European Union of refusing to engage in negotiations on a new Brexit deal.

Asked when the Irish government will announce where checks on goods travelling between the Republic and Northern Ireland would take place in the event of a no-deal Brexit, Mr Donohoe said Dublin is "engaging with the European Commission" on the issue.

In a brief statement, Mr Raab said: "I was delighted to meet the president and the vice president on my first visit to Washington as Foreign Secretary".

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"Having already laid the groundwork, we are fast-tracking this deal so that businesses are able to take advantage of the golden opportunity to increase trade with the USA as soon as possible", she added.

The foreign secretary traveled to the USA with International Trade Secretary Liz Truss, who will meet her U.S. counterpart Wilbur Ross this week.

The decision to invite Mr Raab into the Oval Office for an unscheduled meeting will be seen as a sign the president is keen to fix relations with the United Kingdom after they soured in the dying days of Theresa May's premiership.

Standing at Raab's side, Pompeo said Washington supports London's "sovereign choice" in withdrawing from the European Union, whatever happens. "I think there are some risks but we can manage them", he replied.

The US is the UK's biggest individual trading partner, with around $64.4 billion of westward exports in 2018.

In an interview with the i newspaper in Belfast, Mr Varadkar said: "We ended up with the Withdrawal Agreement and the backstop because of all the red lines that were drawn up by the British government".

"They are simply saying "No, we don't want to talk".

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