Failure to strike US trade deal 'not a broken promise', PM says, as he blames pandemic and Ukraine war

Rishi Sunak has refused to accept the government’s failure to strike a trade deal with the US is a “broken promise”, blaming the pandemic and war in Ukraine on the “changing situation”.

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During a visit to the US, the prime minister was asked repeatedly if he accepted “as a matter of fact” the Conservatives have not met their 2019 manifesto ambition to strike a deal with Washington within the first three years of government.

He said: “Since then we have had a pandemic, we have had a war in Ukraine, and that has changed the macro-economic situation.”

He said the UK now faces more threats to its economic security, adding: “Actually what I’ll be talking to President Biden about today is how can the UK and the US work together to ensure that security for our citizens? I think that’s the thing that we should be focusing on right now. “