U.S. – U.K. Trade Relations Leading up to Brexit

Ambassador Darroch discusses the future of Brexit


On May 2, 2019, the Meridian Corporate Council partnered with NBCUniversal to host a breakfast featuring His Excellency Sir Nigel Kim Darroch, Ambassador of the United Kingdom. With the threat of Brexit looming, U.S. – U.K. trade relations are now more important than ever, as the U.K. cannot commence trade negotiations with the European Union until it has officially left the economic pact. While the U.K. was scheduled to depart from the European Union in March, and again in April, Brexit is now set to take place sometime in October of this year, pending negotiations in Parliament.

U.S. – U.K. trade is the most attractive option for Brexit and would lead to a free trade environment. The U.S. market is the single biggest bilateral partner, taking 20% of exports. The U.K. is also the biggest investor in the U.S. While the U.K. originally joined the EU to benefit from an economic partnership with Europe, the country aspires to be a leader in free markets and open trade, as either part of Europe or not.

However, Ambassador Darroch posited that there could very well not be a deal ready by October. If the Members of Parliament do not reach an agreement by October 1, then Brexit could be put to another referendum. Nonetheless, Brexit would not affect London as the banking center of the European economy. Banks will not move their operations, but rather just a few staff members. FinTech is also a growing economy in London, which will allow the city to remain at the forefront of European trade. Overall, the opportunity for U.S. – U.K. heightened economic relations is promising.


Comcast/NBC Universal

Project summary

U.S. – U.K. Trade Relations Leading up to Brexit | May 2019
Number of Visitors: 1
Number of Attendees: 30
Regions: Europe and Eurasia
Countries: United Kingdom
Impact Areas: Business and Trade
Program Areas: Convening
Partners: Diplomatic Corps, Private Sector