Boris Johnson and Donald Trump have agreed to begin free trade talks as soon as the UK leaves the European Union, according to Downing Street.

The two world leaders spoke during a call on Friday evening, in which Downing Street said the men discussed the “unparalleled” trade opportunities offered by Brexit.

“They agreed that Brexit offers an unparalleled opportunity to strengthen the economic partnership between the UK and United States,” a Downing Street spokesperson said.

“The leaders both expressed their commitment to delivering an ambitious free trade agreement and to starting negotiations as soon as possible after the UK leaves the EU.”

Mr Trump, speaking to reporters in the Oval Office on Friday, said he had called Mr Johnson and congratulated him on his new position.

The US president indicated the two are working on a “very substantial” trade agreement, and added: “I predict he will be will be a great prime minister.

“He has what it takes. They needed him for a long time.”

Downing Street said they also spoke about current tensions with Iran, which represents Mr Johnson’s first diplomatic challenge as prime minister.

The pair discussed the need to “work together and with partners to address their [Iran’s] destabilising behaviour in the Gulf”.

Downing Street claimed Mr Trump used the call to “congratulate” Mr Johnson on his new role.

The spokesman added: “They discussed the important relationship between our countries and the president’s successful state visit to the UK last month.

“They ended by looking forward to seeing each other at the G7 Summit in Biarritz next month.”

The news comes days after Mr Johnson officially assumed the role of prime minister, setting off a political bloodletting that saw 15 senior ministers in Theresa May’s former cabinet resigning or being sacked.

Standing outside of No 10 shortly after becoming prime minister, Mr Johnson denounced “the doubters, the doomsters, and the gloomsters” of Brexit, and pledged to move quickly to remove the country from the economic alliance with Europe, “no ifs or buts”.

“After three years of unfounded self-doubt, it is time to change the record,” Mr Johnson said during a defiant and stinging rebuttal of Ms May’s leadership, though one that did not mention his successor by name.

He has pledged to pull the UK out of the EU by the 31 October.

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