G-20: US President Donald Trump says US hopes for quick trade deal with UK

US President Donald Trump and British Prime Minister Theresa May hold a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the G-20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany, on July 8, 2017.
US President Donald Trump and British Prime Minister Theresa May hold a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the G-20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany, on July 8, 2017.PHOTO: AFP

HAMBURG (REUTERS/AFP) - US President Donald Trump on Saturday (July 8) met British Prime Minister Theresa May and said he hoped the United States can quickly seal a bilateral trade deal with the United Kingdom. Trump also said he will visit London.

"We're working on a trade deal which will be a very, very big deal, a very powerful deal, great for both countries," Trump told reporters as he met May on the sidelines of the G20.

"I think we'll have that done very, very quickly," Trump said.

Britain cannot seal a separate trade deal with the US until it leaves the European Union in 2019. The EU has warned London against striking any separate agreement before its divorce from the bloc was complete. Britain and the EU last month agreed on the priorities and a timetable for the Brexit negotiations.  The two sides agreed to hold four further monthly rounds of talks, with the next on July 17.  

Trump on Saturday also hailed the "very special relationship" he had developed with May, BBC reported.

Speaking at the G20 summit in Hamburg, he also said he will go to London.

Back home, May has been derided for seeking to curry favour with Trump and has come under fire for inviting him for a state visit. A petition against the visit had attracted more than 1.8 million signatures. 

However, questions about the trip arose after it got no mention in Queen Elizabeth II’s annual speech to Parliament in June, when it is customary for the monarch to list upcoming state visits.

Asked on Saturday if the state visit would still go ahead, Trump indicated that they would be working on a date.

“I will be going to London,” he said.