An Express.co.uk poll of 4,963 readers found 80 percent of people believed a trade deal should be the absolute priority of the next prime minister after Troy leadership frontrunner Mr Johnson pledged he is ready to fly to the White House as soon as he wins the leadership contest to secure an agreement before Britain’s departure from the EU on October 31. Meanwhile 19 percent of Express.co.uk readers said it was not the number one issue, with one percent saying they “don’t know” in the poll from 5pm on July 15 to 5pm on July 16.
One Express reader said: “The UK has a lot of great links to America. Why shouldn’t we want to have a good trade deal with them.”
While others begged the candidates to just get on with it as pressure mounts in the wake of last week’s Sir Kim Darroch scandal, which saw relations between the UK and US sour.
Mr Darroch resigned from his post after leaked memos emerged showing the UK ambassador to the US’s critical assessment of President Donald Trump.
One Express.co.uk reader commented: “Get a trade deal with America before the EU, that way we can just buy anything we really need rather than what they want to send us.
“I’m looking forward to a great range of products in our shops after we dump the EU.”
Another said: “Why wait to leave the trading bloc before we negotiate deals with other countries? What’s the bloc going to do? Expel us? Bring it on!”
One added: “Just get on with it.”
However some argued Brexit must be the next prime minister’s number one priority, with one Express.co.uk reader adding: “It comes 1st, middle and last.”
The results of Express.co.uk’s poll come less than 24 hours after the two candidates both supported the idea of a US trade deal in the last debate before next week’s crunch results are revealed.
Mr Johnson has backed a free trade deal and claimed that Britain could start negotiations immediately after Brexit. The favourite to win the leadership race added that despite the US’s ruthless negotiating stance, the UK could still get a good deal.
Jeremy Hunt said that it was very likely that a deal could be struck between the two nations.
The Foreign Secretary said: “What has most impressed me is he has stressed how enthusiastic the US are to do a trade deal with us.”
But he added that the Government would not be putting the NHS up for sale, after Mr Trump hinted that the health service would be on the negotiating table during last month’s state visit.
There is also extreme pressure from the threat of Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage whose party has gained considerable popularity since launching just months ago.
Mr Farage has been an advocate of a free trade deal with the US and was one of only a handful of political figures to meet the President during his visit to the UK in June.
The Brexit Party leader said: “A trade deal that is pretty vital for us but should be very good for American interests too.
“When I asked the question, how prepared are the British for this, the answer I got was we are simply not.”
The UK’s next prime minister will be revealed on July 23.