Commenting on the news that the UK and US are to open formal negotiations on a future free trade agreement, BCC director general Adam Marshall, said:

“While most UK businesses will be focusing on the immediate challenge posed by Coronavirus, strong trading arrangements with both the European Union and USA will support recovery and future growth.

“The government has set a high ambition for UK-US talks, and it will be particularly important to get the details right over the coming months to ensure that any prospective agreement delivers tangible benefits to businesses and communities across the UK.

“Companies will welcome the focus on helping more UK SMEs grow their trade with partners in the US, and on finding ways to move goods, people and data across borders between the two countries more smoothly.

“We will be working constructively with the Government to ensure the needs of UK business communities are considered in negotiations with the USA and with other key trading partners.”