Brexit bombshell: Brussels set to seize control of trade talks after US election – expert

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Leaders around the world, including in London and Brussels, are fixated on who will win the race for the White House on November 3. Brexit trade negotiations between the UK and EU continue to stall ahead of the crucial December 31 deadline, but the whole dynamic of talks could change upon the outcome across the Atlantic.

Ben Harris-Quinney, chair of the independent Bow Group think-tank, has warned a win for Mr Biden could “weaken” the UK’s negotiating position with the EU.

The Democrat nominee has been an outspoken critic of Brexit and most recently warned there would be no trade if the UK undermined the Good Friday Agreement.

Whereas, Mr Trump has been a keen supporter of the UK becoming an independent trading nation.

Speaking in 2019, Mr Trump said the UK and US could strike a “very big trade deal – bigger than we’ve ever had with the UK”.

Mr Harris-Quinney, who has worked in foreign policy in both the UK and European Parliaments, insisted a deal with the US should have already been completed and warned the EU will have more leverage in Brexit trade talks if Mr Biden wins.

Speaking to Express.co.uk, he said: “If Biden wins it will weaken our hand and strengthen the EU’s.

“The EU is also waiting for the outcome of the US election.

“The best the UK can hope for is a continuation of the status quo, whereas the EU’s position may grow stronger if Biden wins, which is why a deal should have been done in the past four years.”

The political expert pointed out the anti-Brexit remarks issued by Barack Obama in 2016.

Speaking ahead of the EU referendum, the then US President warned the UK would be pushed the “back of the queue” in trade talks if Britain voted to leave the EU.

Mr Biden, who is leading in many opinion polls, served as vice-president under the Obama administration from 2008-2016.

On the impact of a win for the Democrats, Mr Harris-Quinney said: “It will strengthen the EU’s hand because Biden will revert to the Obama policy of putting the UK to the ‘back of the queue’ and placing the EU as America’s preeminent ally, rather than the UK.”

He added: “The EU would also be less likely to enact punitive measures against the UK when Trump is President for fear of US reprisals.

“No such reprisals are likely from Biden and the EU may choose to attempt to punish the UK for leaving by leveraging its collective economic power against an increasingly isolated Britain.”

The latest round of Brexit negotiations between EU chief Michel Barnier and David Frost have so far failed to make any progress with outstanding issues over fisheries and state aid.

Following seven days of “intensive negotiations”, Mr Barnier said “much remains to be done” in order to reach a deal before the end of the transition period.

Mr Barnier said: “After seven days of intensive negotiations in London, talks continue with David Frost and his team in Brussels.

“Working hard for an agreement. Much remains to be done.”

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