A former top trade adviser to US President Trump has told the BBC “there is a level of panic” around Brexit “that is not justified”.

Stephen Vaughn, who served as acting trade representative before becoming general counsel on trade, stressed the UK has “enormous leverage” in a potential trade deal with the US.

On a deal’s likelihood, he said the Trump administration is “ready to go”.

The UK will be able to strike its own trade deals only after leaving the EU.

As a member of President Trump’s negotiating team, Mr Vaughn had a key role in the talks with Canada and China.

In reference to a potential UK deal, he compared the situation with US-Canada negotiations: “No one would say, ‘Canada has to join the US in a union or Canada will get steamrolled by the US’.”

“You have an enormous amount of leverage, and we’ll see how you use it,” he added, speaking in his first broadcast interview since leaving the Office of the US Trade Representative.

On US preparations for a potential deal with the UK, he said that Robert Lighthizer, the current US Trade Representative, had done all the preparations needed.

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