THE UK will be “first in line” for a trade deal with the US – which could pursue a “sector-by-sector” deal with Britain, US national security adviser John Bolton said.

Speaking following a meeting with Prime Minister Boris Johnson on a visit to London, Bolton said the US could focus on certain sectors like manufacturing and car-making where the two countries may agree, and work out more complicated areas later.

Bolton said US trade negotiators think this is acceptable under World Trade Organisation rules.

He also said issues like security in Iran, and fears over Huawei’s involvement in the UK’s 5G network could wait until after Brexit to be resolved.

“A prior American president said that if the United Kingdom left the European Union, it would go to the back of the queue on trade deals.

“To be clear, in the Trump administration, Britain’s constantly at the front of the trade queue.”

Bolton said the US had been “ready to negotiate” with Theresa May’s Government, and said the US could do a trade deal with the UK “in pieces” on a sector-by-sector basis.

He added: “We were ready to negotiate. We are ready to negotiate now.”

He proposed making trading agreements sector by sector, “in a modular fashion”.

“You could carve out some areas where it might be possible to reach a bilateral agreement very quickly, very straight forwardly.

“When the other areas that might be more difficult were concluded later, you could combine it in one overall agreement.

“So the objective is either one document or a series of agreements that would be comprehensive.

“In order to expedite things and enhance the possibility for increasing the trade and investments between the two countries, doing it in a sector-by-sector approach or some other approach that the trade negotiators might agree with, we are open to that.”

He added: “The idea of doing it in pieces rather than waiting for the whole thing is not unprecedented. I think here we see the importance and urgency of doing as much as we can agree on as rapidly as possible because of the impending October 31 exit date.”

Asked whether piecemeal trade agreements like this are allowed under WTO rules, Bolton said: “Our trade negotiators seem to think it is.”

He believed that issues like Iran, China, and Huawei could be put off until after Brexit.

Bolton said he is “pleased” that Boris Johnson’s government had agreed to participate in Operation Sentinel to improve security in the Persian Gulf, saying this “reflects a change from the prior Government”.

Bolton also attacked the EU and said it should respect the Brexit vote.