Brexit News: Liz Truss’s stance on NI protocol is a ‘major test’ for US relations | Politics | New

Polls show Liz Truss as big favorite to win the Tory leadership race, with the latest YouGov poll of party members having 66% supporting Ms Truss to 34% backing Rishi Sunak.

But the Foreign Secretary, who compares herself to Margaret Thatcher, will have to confront Joe Biden’s administration from the prime minister’s position in critical diplomatic conversations.

And in these, she is already perceived as a “loyalist” of her predecessor Boris Johnson, according to an American diplomat familiar with the British file.

The diplomat who spoke to Politico said Ms Truss is “likely to continue the policies and tone of Johnson’s government”, which should bring a positive result in a first step in relationship building.

The diplomat went on to suggest that the tone of the conversations is “unlikely to change” regardless of Downing Street’s successor, as the UK and US will remain strategically aligned in the face of geopolitical challenges posed by Russia and the United States. China.

But in a second step, the two governments will have to negotiate on Brexit and the relationship with the EU, and this will be a “major test”, according to the diplomat.

The diplomat predicted that “the question of how a Truss government approaches the [NI] protocol will be the first major test of the relationship.”

On Wednesday, Truss said she was determined to introduce the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill in full, even if it faced time-consuming opposition in parliament.

Politico suggested that the protocol dispute “pits Truss’ home base against his country’s greatest ally” since Truss’ intentions to rewrite the protocol are clear.

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Truss replied: “I took on the responsibility of negotiating the Northern Ireland protocol, and against a lot of advice in Whitehall and against the wishes of some of the people you mentioned.

“And I’ll be very clear with people like Nancy Pelosi exactly what I think about it and exactly what we need to do. I kept delivering that.”

She added that the bill is “absolutely legal.”

Mujtaba Rahman, the Eurasia Group’s managing director for Europe, also told Politico that unless Truss mends the fences with the EU, the US-UK friendship “is not going to flourish.”



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