20 September 2022

Liz Truss wants closer ties with allies amid ‘more insecure era’

20 September 2022

Liz Truss has said she wants to forge closer relations with allies than Boris Johnson as the security threat worsens.

The Prime Minister said she did not want to compare herself to her predecessors, but suggested changing times required stronger ties.

Ms Truss is due to meet with the leaders of allied nations including Joe Biden and Emmanuel Macron in New York.

We face an increasingly aggressive Russia, an assertive China. We need to work more closely with our allies

Asked about her difference to Mr Johnson in an interview with BBC News on the 102nd floor observatory of the Empire State Building, Ms Truss said: “Well, I will be my own Prime Minister and I wouldn’t compare myself to any predecessors.

“And the times we’re in are different from the times predecessors have been in. We are entering a new era.

“It is a more insecure era. We face an increasingly aggressive Russia, an assertive China. We need to work more closely with our allies, and we also need to get the British economy growing so that we have that security for all of our citizens.”

Ms Truss hopes to focus on energy security and combating Russia’s war in Ukraine during a United Nations summit in New York.

Her first foreign trip as Prime Minister will feature a series of meetings, including with Mr Biden, Mr Macron and the EU’s Ursula von der Leyen.

But her goal to strengthen relations with them could face hurdles, as the meetings take place amid tensions over the Northern Ireland Protocol.

Mr Biden, the US president with proud Irish heritage, has raised concerns about Brexit’s threat to the peace process and has downplayed the chances of striking a free-trade deal.

His French counterpart, Mr Macron, has long been a critic of Brexit and has been firm in pressing the UK to keep to commitments on Northern Ireland and fishing rights.

Ms Truss sparked a diplomatic row during the Tory leadership contest when she declined to give a clear answer when asked if Mr Macron was a “friend or foe”.

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