LONDON: The UK will begin trade talks with the US over a new post-Brexit agreement on the 24 July, according to Secretary of State for International Trade Liam Fox.
EU rules currently state that member states are not allowed to negotiate individual trade deals while remaining part of the bloc.
Fox appeared to disregard that on Thursday however, as he told that Britain would be discussing trade deals with “very, very big markets” in the coming months.
The trade secretary was asked about the possibility that US negotiators may not speak with their UK counterparts until the government agrees to implement looser food safety standards.
Fox said: “And as for the US will not talk to us, I’ve got news for you, we are beginning our actual discussions on the 24 July.
“There are some very, very big markets out there that we will be able to take advantage of.”
Fox traveled to Washington at the beginning of the month to meet with US commerce secretary Wilbur Ross, but his comments on Question time were the first indication of a date for formal discussions to begin.
The UK is currently in the midst of complex exit negotiations from the EU, and is almost certain to leave the single access market the bloc represents.