A top American official has warned that Britain will miss out on key trade deals if it leaves the European Union.
Michael Froman, the US trade representative, said in a major intervention yesterday that America would not want to pursue a free trade agreement with an independent Britain.
The US finalised a major trade deal with 11 Pacific countries last month, and American officials have indicated that they want to finish negotiations with the EU on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) by the end of next year.
But Froman, a former assistant to President Barack Obama and deputy national security advisor for international economic affairs, dismissed any idea that a post-Brexit Britain could have its own bilateral free trade deal with the US.
"I think it's absolutely clear that Britain has a greater voice at the trade table being part of the EU, being part of a larger economic entity," Froman told Reuters.
"We're not particularly in the market for FTAs with individual countries. We're building platforms ... that other countries can join over time," he added.
"We have no FTA with the U.K. so they would be subject to the same tariffs – and other trade-related measures – as China, or Brazil or India," he said.