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Hopes of a good deal with Trump are ‘delusional’ says US economist

BRITAIN ‘is delusional’ to expect a favourable trade deal with the US, a senior economist has claimed.

Former US treasury secretary Larry Summers, who served in the Obama and Clinton administrations, said Britain has no leverage because it is ‘desperate’. He spoke as foreign secretary Dominic Raab visits North America to ‘fire up’ the UK’s trade relationship there.

Mr Summers (pictured) told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: ‘If Britain thinks that the American financial regulators, who have great difficulty coming together on anything, are going to come together to give greater permissions and less regulation of UK firms, I would call that belief close to delusional.’

He added: ‘Britain has much less to give than Europe as a whole did, therefore less reason for the United States to make concessions. You make more concessions dealing with a wealthy man than you do dealing with a poor man.

‘Britain has no leverage. Britain is desperate. Britain has nothing else. It needs an agreement very soon. When you have a desperate partner, that’s when you strike the hardest bargain. The last thing you do is quit a job before you look for your new one.’

He said it is ‘close to inconceivable’ the UK can increase trade with the US enough to replace lost trade with the EU. Mr Raab was in Toronto yesterday before going to Washington today and Mexico City tomorrow.

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