July 23, 2020 / 2:41 PM / 17 days ago

No timetable set for British trade talks with the U.S., says trade minister

FILE PHOTO: Britain's Secretary of State of International Trade and Minister for Women and Equalities Liz Truss is seen outside Downing Street, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, in London, Britain March 17, 2020. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain’s government has never publicly set a timeline in which to secure a trade deal with the United States because it does not want the other side to use time pressure against London, trade minister Liz Truss said on Thursday.

After leaving the European Union in January, Britain is keen to stand alone and has started a series of trade negotiations with other countries, with the United States being seen as a priority.

“We have never publicly stated a timeline for the U.S. deal and that is very deliberate because we do not want ... our interlocutors to use time pressure against us,” Truss told a House of Lords committee, adding that despite holding talks via video conference due to the coronavirus crisis, UK negotiators had made “very good progress”.

Reporting by William James, writing by Elizabeth Piper; editing by Alistair Smout

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