Web Extra: AR Congressman, UK Member of Parliament Talk Brexit, Bilateral Trade and Bourbon
Posted by on October 7, 2018 | comments
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Web Extra: AR Congressman, UK Member of Parliament Talk Brexit, Bilateral Trade and Bourbon

By Jessi Turnure

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - During his latest trip to the U.S., a member of Parliament, along with his colleague and friend, an Arkansas Congressman, stopped by the Capitol View studio to talk a variety of topics with host Jessi Turnure. 

U.K. MP Rehman Chishti and U.S. Rep. French Hill met when they were appointed to the British-American Parliamentary Group.

As part of the exchange program, the lawmakers have visited each other's constituencies in an effort to build economic, military and educational relationships between the two. 

On Thursday, Chishti, Hill and Turnure talked Brexit, bilateral trade, even bourbon. 

The U.K. voted in 2016 to leave the European Union, but the transition happens next year. In the meantime, a big meeting is coming up in a couple weeks to discuss Brexit before the EU Summit.

There is still not a clear deal, but Prime Minister Theresa May has said she will not delay the U.K.'s exit.

"The public had a choice," Chishti said. "And what we have made very clear is we are leaving the European Union. We are not leaving Europe."

Chishti said he and his colleagues now have no choice but to put into practice the public mandate given to them.

"I'll be frank with you," he said. "We want the best deal for our counterparts in Europe as well. Europe is our largest trading partner after the U.S.... However, the U.K. will never accept a bad deal. We've made it very clear a no deal is better than a bad deal."

Hill said the U.S. should be watching these discussions very closely because British firms employ about a million Americans, tens of thousands of Americans work in the U.K. and the U.S. imports a lot of the country's industrial chemicals and pharmaceuticals.

"President Trump is committed to a bilateral arrangement with the U.K. immediately after they are eligible to negotiate," he said. "Part of the awkwardness here is that the U.K. can't enter into a bilateral arrangement with anyone else until this Brexit transition is done and completed in March next year. So we're just in a waiting game. But we want to be first in line to be a partner with the U.K. and preserve the growth we have between our two economies."

To hear the rest of Chishti and Hill's comments, watch their full interview above.

Capitol View airs Sunday mornings at 8:30 on KARK-TV directly before NBC's Meet the Press.
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