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Johnson and Trump plan 'ambitious trade agreement'

December 16, 2019

US President Donald Trump has congratulated Johnson on his victory in the UK's parliamentary elections. The UK prime minister will move ahead with plans to finalize his country's divorce from the EU.

Boris Johnson and Donald Trump at the UN, file photo.
Image: Getty Images/AFP/S. Loeb

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson spoke on the phone with US President Donald Trump on Monday, where they discussed increasing trade between the US and the UK.

The call comes days after Johnson emerged victorious in the British parliamentary elections, obtaining a sweeping victory in the House of Commons.

Both leaders said they looked forward to the negotiation of an "ambitious free trade agreement.”

"The prime minister spoke with President Trump, who congratulated him on the result of the general election," a Downing Street spokesman said in a statement.

"They discussed the huge importance of the relationship between the UK and US, and looked forward to continued close cooperation on issues such as security and trade, including the negotiation of an ambitious free trade agreement."

Read more: What happens with Brexit after Boris Johnson's victory?

Johnson pushes Brexit

The UK prime minister won 365 seats in the 650-seat parliament, giving him a majority of 80 seats. The new parliament will convene on Thursday, the same day that Queen Elizabeth II will outline the government's program in the so-called Queen's Speech.

Legislators have signaled they will move ahead with a Brexit vote this Friday, when they vote to approve the Brexit withdrawal agreement bill negotiated by Johnson, a government spokeswoman said on Monday.

The UK has a deadline of January 31 to leave the EU and Johnson is hoping that the new parliamentary majority can help deliver that.

If the deal is approved and Brexit happens, a transition period will follow until the end of 2020, while the UK and EU iron out details of their future relations. During this period, EU rules and regulations would still apply in the UK, with people and goods still able to pass freely between the UK and the 27 remaining EU members.

jcg/aw (AP, Reuters, dpa)

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