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Liz Truss is ready to flex the muscles of London internationally after becoming Prime Minister

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British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss is on the cusp of becoming Britain’s next prime minister, and Truss’s political journey has been intertwined, from a liberal Democrat, then anti-monarchy, and cannabis-legal campaigner, she became loyal to former Prime Minister David Cameron and the survival team, during the Brexit campaign. from the European Union. A disastrous rhetoric about pork in 2014 led to it being widely derided, but now the often portrayed face of post-Brexit foreign policy in what has come to be known as “Global Britain”; Not only has he been endorsed by the hard-right Daily Mail, but Terrace is seen by the most hard-line radicals as a champion of their cause.

It would be easy to make one of two mistakes about the front-runner for prime minister: she either doesn’t believe in anything, or she believes everything she says. But according to the Westminster sources I spoke to, it’s a much more complex mix of politics, especially in terms of geopolitics.

As Secretary of State, her worldview has been profoundly affected by the war in Ukraine, and she will be a candidate for continuity of the foreign policy promoted by outgoing Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and she has staunchly supported Johnson as he embraced a form of “muscle flexing” toward Russia and China by sending heavy weapons To Ukraine early, by positioning London as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s closest partner, increasing UK defense spending, and standing by Hong Kong, Johnson also sought to strengthen Britain’s role in the Indo-Pacific through the “Ocos” agreement, in partnership with the United States and Australia. , with the start of separating the UK from Beijing on sensitive issues, such as 5G mobile technology.

As Secretary of State during a European war, Truss sees the world somewhat differently from Johnson, and has a desire to take greater action on the world stage. Early to Ukraine, but it goes beyond that, and this has made her popular with Zelensky’s government, according to British and Ukrainian diplomats I spoke to, and she was often greeted on Twitter by Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, who called her “friendly.” And Terrace now wants to be tougher.

This becomes even more apparent when it comes to China, and as the Conservative Party leadership campaign unfolds, Truss accused rival Rishi Sunak of seeking to “search for closer economic ties” with China, forcing the former chancellor to shift to a more hawkish stance to keep pace with his rival’s stance.

Britain’s political allies widely expect Ters to be more hawkish on Beijing, compared to Johnson, who had hoped the relationship and economic dialogue would continue somewhat insulated from geopolitics. According to the sources I spoke to, she simply does not believe this is possible, and hopes to be more resistant to the Treasury’s view that Britain should not seek to destroy economic relations with the world’s largest exporter. Terrace sees the world primarily in terms of geopolitical competition, not trade, environment or development.

There will be a marked shift when it comes to Britain’s allies, too. And Terrace – according to insiders in the government – “is more American than Americans”, and it is expected that relations with Washington will become more solid in almost all fields. This is what happened with Johnson, but with the difference that she will be more willing to speak frankly to the White House, and officials in the European Commission feel pessimistic about the future now, after Terrace is on her way to “Downing Street”, referring to her position on relations with the bloc, especially Regarding the controversial Northern Ireland Protocol.

This has upset many officials in Brussels and seriously damaged her confidence, but her enthusiasm stops there for now. Concerning, for example, the newly poorly explained French idea of ​​a “European political community”, Johnson was fully in favor of the idea of ​​a “loose structure” and non-binding European states, including Ukraine, that would have a right Access to the summits and institutions of the European Union and cooperation in the areas of security, economic geography and defence, while Terrace rejects the idea, according to French and British officials. It does not want to have further discussions in a format focused on the European Union without the United States.

Her view, increasingly being highlighted by the British Foreign Office, is that what the continent has been missing in recent years, when it comes to European security, is not advisory structures with the EU on foreign affairs, but money and a show of strength in actual crises.

• Being foreign minister during a European war; Truss sees the world somewhat differently than Johnson does, and has a desire to take greater action on the world stage.

• According to government insiders, Terrace is “more American than the Americans”, and it is expected that relations with Washington will become more solid in all fields.

Ben Judah ■ British-French Analyst and Writer of “This is London, a Fragile Empire”