The US will most likely try to lock in protections for its fossil fuel industry, jeopardising plans to decarbonise the UK by 2050
Few things have loomed larger in Brexit imaginary than the stupendous trade deals the UK will get as soon as it frees itself from the thicket of European Union regulation. The government hopes to hash out deals with both the EU and the United States by the end of the year, when the transition period ends and Britain is no longer bound to Europe’s rules.
It’s an ambitious goal, but not impossible. President Trump is “bullish” on a UK deal, the American ambassador Woody Johnson recently said, adding that Trump, like the prime minister, wants to “get it done”. They make it sound so easy. And it’s true that Donald Trump has so far favoured quick and dirty deals with individual countries over complex, multinational agreements. But trade negotiations will also mean facing the world’s largest economy at the bargaining table alone, with little leverage and a ticking clock. The US will push aggressively against anything that blocks American companies from doing business here, and there are few things on which the two countries are more divided than climate policy.