LONDON — When Prime Minister Boris Johnson of Britain used to talk about a new trade agreement with the United States, he often fell into the baroque language — “massive,” “fantastic,” “enormous” — of President Trump, the man he figured would be sitting across the bargaining table from him.

Mr. Trump has not dialed back his tone about the deal’s potential — it would be “magnificent,” he promised when the two men met at the United Nations last September — but Mr. Johnson certainly has, a reflection of both economic and political reality.

As his government laid out its objectives for the negotiations with Washington on Monday, Mr. Johnson emphasized instead the points Britain would not give up in a negotiation — chief among them, food safety and the sanctity of the country’s National Health Service. He did not play up the Texas-size windfall from a deal, as he once did when he sold it as a lucrative fringe benefit of Brexit.

“We’re going to drive a hard bargain to boost British industry,” Mr. Johnson said. “Trading Scottish smoked salmon for Stetson hats, we will deliver lower prices and more choice for our shoppers.”

Mr. Price, who is now managing director of Rock Creek Global Advisors, an economic advisory firm, said, “This negotiation seems more driven by politics at the top than by U.S. or U.K. commercial interests.”

For Mr. Trump, a trade deal is a reward for Mr. Johnson’s championing of Brexit, which undermines the European Union, a supranational project he deeply distrusts. For Mr. Johnson, a deal is Exhibit A of the new path that Britain can forge, having thrown off the shackles of Brussels.

That is not to say there are no concrete economic benefits. The British government said Scotland could export more Scotch and smoked salmon, northern England more cars, and the Welsh more lamb to the United States.

Both countries are competitive in industries like finance and digital services; executives in those industries say they could benefit writing rules looser than those of the European Union. But Britain must still decide whether to tax American technology firms like Google, Facebook and Amazon.

The Trump administration will push to reduce barriers to its farm products and press the National Health Service to pay more for American drugs — both of which raise vexing political issues in Britain.

In its blueprint, the government said, “the NHS is not, and never will be, for sale to the private sector, whether overseas or domestic.” But the Labour Party and other critics warn that Mr. Johnson will accept chlorinated American chicken and allow American companies to buy chunks of the revered health service.

British officials have hinted at more flexibility on American food. Mr. Lowe, the trade expert, noted that the blueprint commits only to preserving Britain’s high standards in food safety — not the existing regulations that keep out American poultry.

But Mr. Johnson and his aides have recently aroused fears that they are reneging on that arrangement by asserting there will be no checks on goods flowing from Britain to Northern Ireland. That potentially would open a backdoor to goods flowing into the Republic of Ireland from all over the world, ultimately forcing it to establish a hard border with Northern Ireland.

This would, in turn, raise the hackles of Congressional leaders in the United States, not least Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the House, who are determined to safeguard the 1998 peace agreement that ended three decades of violence in Northern Ireland.

“If the U.K. were to renege on its legal obligation to take measures to avoid a hard border in Ireland,” said Bobby McDonagh, a former Irish ambassador to Britain, “the chances of getting any U.S.-U.K. trade deal through Congress, which would generally accept Ireland’s interpretation of events, would be close to zero.”

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