- Boris Johnson is reportedly working on his golf skills, and it could help the UK secure a favorable trade deal with US President Donald Trump.
- Johnson booked time off “to practice the game at a course near his Oxfordshire home” before becoming prime minister in July, the BBC’s “Today” program reported.
- President Trump is well known for his love of golf, and world leaders like Japanese leader Abe Shinzo have sought to woo him on the course.
- Former and current Trump aides and golfing partners told Politico that Trump often hashes out US policy with his golfing partners during 18 holes.
- A source told the BBC on Thursday that Johnson’s decision to brush up was not related to the US president.
- The UK is keen to secure a trade deal with the US as soon as possible ahead of a planned October 31 departure from the European Union.
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Boris Johnson is reportedly working hard on his golf game, and it may help him sway Donald Trump toward a UK-US trade deal.
Johnson’s practices are unrelated to Trump, a source told the BBC, but any increased golfing prowess may help the UK secure a post-Brexit trade deal with the world’s biggest economy.
Trump’s love of golf is well known.
After Trump’s 2016 election victory Japanese prime minister Abe Shinzo chose to congratulate him by gifting him a gold-plated golf club.
Ahead of a summit with Shinzo in 2017 Trump told Westwood One sports radio:
The pair also played together again in May 2019, when Trump visited Japan.
It would be smart for Johnson to take to the course with Trump, Ron Elving, a senior editor on NPR’s Washington desk, told the BBC.
“It would be I think a sensible thing for anyone who wanted to do some sort of business with Donald Trump, and also be seen as intimate to actually go out and play golf.”
A Politico feature on Trump’s golfing habits in April cited 10 former and current Trump aides and golf partners who said Trump uses time on the course to make key work calls and talk about policy with his partners.
Trump — who owns owns more than a dozen golf courses — told Johnson over the phone on Monday he hoped to meet with him “in the near future,” Reuters reported.
Trump and Johnson will next cross paths at the G7 summit in France on August 24.
The Times of London reported on Wednesday that Trump may meet with Johnson as a “signal of intent” about a post-Brexit trade deal.
John Bolton, the US national security adviser, said on Monday the relationship between the two leaders was “off to a roaring start.”
Bolton also said the UK will be “first in line” for a trade deal with the US once it has left the EU.
Johnson once put his golf skills on display at a Santander event in London with former world no. 1 Rory McIlroy in September 2014.
“Today”reporter Ross Hawkins said on Thursday that Johnson, when he had been seen swinging a club, was “not the most comfortable golfer,” with onlookers saying he has an “agricultural” style.