Johnson accused of Brexit failure as he admits UK-US trade deal near back of queue in Biden’s priorities – live | The Guardian

Latest updates: PM dampens expectations of progress on UK-US trade deal and says Biden has ‘a lot of fish to fry’

Johnson hails lifting of US travel ban but says trade deal progress unlikelyKwarteng admits ‘difficult winter’ ahead as energy bills soarCoronavirus global updates – live

10.08am BST

Here are the main points from what Kwasi Kwarteng, the business secretary, said in his interviews this morning about the energy crisis.

You’re right, and that’s why I’m very keen to keep the warm home discount and also there are other winter fuel payments that we’re looking at.

We have discussions about the budget, and you will see what happens in the budget. I can’t possibly pre-empt or anticipate what will be in that budget ahead of time, you’ll appreciate that.

‘You need to be able to offer them hope.’@susannareid100 challenges @KwasiKwarteng about why the warm home discount hasn’t increased when the price cap has risen.

She points out that the government is ‘driving down’ the living conditions of people in the UK.

Going forward, we want to see perhaps a more stable market in terms of the energy suppliers. This is my third winter in post, either as energy minister or its business secretary, and each of those winters we’ve typically expected five to eight suppliers to exit the market. That’s quite a volatile market in terms of the supplies.

9.37am BST

These are from Newsnight’s Lewis Goodall on what Boris Johnson said about the proposed UK/US trade deal. (See 9.31am.)

Revealing in a number of ways this

1) A deal (for all sorts of reasons) was always a remote possibility.
2) Rare admission (and contrary to most govt mood music) of limits of UK political sway.
3) But doesn’t matter much because as we know, they don’t add much to GDP anyway.

Many Brexiters and ministers emphasised repeatedly the benefits of a US deal (the biggest deal available from any single country, so the biggest single state post-Brexit trade prize). This is the firmest indication yet that it won’t happen any time soon.

Indeed, you might argue that what PM is saying, in stating that Biden has other “fish to fry” isn’t so far away from President Obama’s 2016 “back of the queue”. This is something then Mayor Johnson decried at the time.

Obama was talking about slightly different things- saying US would prefer to make a deal with big trade blocs. But both Obama then and Johnson curiously now, was/are making a similar point- that the UK could only expect so much attention on a Capitol Hill with a full agenda.

That is a shift in what we’ve heard from the PM and ministers before.

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