According to a May 27 article in the British Guardian, U.S. officials said that should Britain exit the EU, it would be unlikely that the United States would establish a separate trade agreement with the U.K.
The Guardian report cited sources at U.S.-U.K. meetings in London who speculated that withdrawal of Britain from the EU would make approval of the TTIP by Congress even more difficult than it already is. The sources said "there would very little appetite" in Washington to put a new trade deal together with Britain if the U.K. left the EU.
“Having Britain in the EU … is going to strengthen the possibility that we succeed in a very difficult negotiation, as it involves so many different interests and having Britain as a key player and pushing for this will be important," the Guardian quoted an unnamed senior U.S. official as saying. "We have expressed our views of Britain's role in the EU and they haven't changed. TTIP negotiations underscore why we think it's important that it continues."
During a joint White House press conference on May 13 in which both President Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron took questions from press corps members, Obama stated:
[Cameron and I] discussed the importance of moving ahead with the EU towards negotiations on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. Our extensive trade with the U.K. is central to our broader transatlantic economic relationship, which supports more than 13 million jobs. And I want to thank David for his strong support for building on those ties, and I look forward to launching negotiations with the EU in the coming months.
When it was his turn to address the press corps, Cameron also touched on the Transatlantic Trade deal: “President Obama and I have both championed a free trade deal between the European Union and the United States. And there is a real chance now to get the process launched in time for the G8.” (The 39th G8 summit will be held on June 17-18 in Northern Ireland.)
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Photo of Prime Minister David Cameron and President Barack Obama: AP Images