World

Trump congratulates Johnson on win

By AAP Newswire

President Donald Trump has congratulated UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson on his "great win" in the general election, and says the UK and US will be free to strike a "massive" new trade deal after Brexit.

Trump says the agreement has the potential to be "far bigger and more lucrative" than any deal that could have been made with the European Union.

The prime minister's victory in Thursday's election puts Britain firmly on course to leave the EU in January and he will seek to strike a free trade deal by the end of 2020.

Trump tweeted: "Congratulations to Boris Johnson on his great WIN! Britain and the United States will now be free to strike a massive new Trade Deal after BREXIT.

"This deal has the potential to be far bigger and more lucrative than any deal that could be made with the E.U. Celebrate Boris!"

The prospect of a trade deal with the US was a major talking point during the election campaign, with Labour claiming the NHS was at risk of being sold off to US companies in the fallout from Brexit.

Those accusations were denied by both sides, with Trump telling journalists during his recent visit to Britain for the NATO summit that he wants "nothing to do with" the health service.

He said he had "never even thought about it" despite stating during a previous visit that "when you're dealing in trade, everything is on the table".

The PM and president have a chequered history, with Johnson once joking that he would avoid some parts of New York because of the "real risk" of meeting him.

Last week he was filmed laughing as Canadian PM Justin Trudeau and French President Emmanuel Macron appeared to discuss Trump's bombastic arrival in the UK.

Nonetheless, Trump has consistently offered his support to Johnson since taking up the presidency, telling the Sun in 2018 he would make a "great" prime minister, even though Theresa May was still in the role at the time.