Liz Truss to take on role as chief Brexit negotiator
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The Foreign Secretary championed the role of the UK in promoting freedom, democracy and free trade on the world stage in 2021 – and vowed to continue the advance into the New Year. In a post on Twitter, she wrote: “The UK has advanced the cause of freedom, democracy, free trade and free enterprise this year.
“In 2022 we will continue to deliver for Britain boosting economic and security ties across the world and building a global network of liberty.”
The message was accompanied by a video highlighting some of the key political moments of the year.
They included when the UK hosted the G7 summit of world leaders in Cornwall, the Global Education Summit in London, COP26 in Glasgow and the G7 Foreign Ministers Summit in Liverpool.
Brexit Britain finally began life outside of the European Union on January 1 and the video montage also referred to a number of key trade deals which have been signed by the UK.
The UK struck trade deals with countries including Australia, Canada, New Zealand and Norway.
Negotiations are also underway for the UK to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).
The CPTPP is made up of Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Japan, Singapore, Peru and Vietnam, which had a combined GDP of £9trillion in 2019.
Ms Truss led post-Brexit talks with nations around the world during her tenure as the International Trade Secretary.
The 46-year-old was rewarded for her remarkable work and promoted to one of the Great Offices of State – and is now also leading talks with the EU following the departure of Lord David Frost as Brexit Minister.
Ms Truss, who is widely seen as a future leader, has been a champion of global Britain and recently described the UK as the “greatest country on earth”.
Speaking at the Chatham House policy institute earlier this month, Ms Truss insisted the history of the British Empire cannot be ignored and said the UK must embrace it.
She said: “It’s time to be proud of who we are and what we stand for. It’s time to dump the baggage holding us back.
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“Our history – warts and all – makes us what we are today.
“Britain is the greatest country on earth. Whoever you are, wherever you come from, you can achieve your dreams.”
More immediately, Ms Truss has been tasked with finding a solution to the complex Northern Ireland Protocol, created to prevent a hard border on the island of Ireland.
The UK wants to reduce the number of checks on goods moving from Great Britain to Northern Ireland – which remains part of the EU single market – and remove the oversight of the European Court of Justice (ECJ).
Speaking following her first call with European Commission vice-president Maros Sefcovic, Ms Truss said: “We want a constructive relationship with the EU, underpinned by trade and our shared belief in freedom and democracy.
“Resolving the current issues is critical to unleashing that potential.
“The UK position has not changed. We need goods to flow freely between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, end the role of the ECJ (European Court of Justice) as the final arbiter of disputes between us, and resolve other issues.
“We must pick up the pace on talks in the New Year. Our preference remains to reach an agreed solution.
“If this does not happen, we remain prepared to trigger Article 16 safeguards to deal with the very real problems faced in Northern Ireland and to protect the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement in all its dimensions.”
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