2022 - Brexit news: Liz Truss' stance on NI protocol is a 'major test' for US ties | Politics | News - Magazine, Health

Polls show Liz Truss is the clear favorite to win the Tory leadership contest, with the latest YouGov poll of party members showing 66 per cent backing Ms Truss, while 34 per cent support Rishi Sunak.

But the Secretary of State, who compares herself to Margaret Thatcher, will have to face the Joe Biden administration from the position of Prime Minister in critical diplomatic talks.

And there, according to a US diplomat familiar with the British file, she is already perceived as a "loyalist" to her predecessor Boris Johnson.

The diplomat, who spoke to Politico, said Ms Truss is "likely to continue the policies and tone of Johnson's administration," which should result in a positive outcome in a first step in building relationships.

The diplomat went on to hint that the tone of the talks is "unlikely to change" regardless of who takes over at Downing Street, as the UK and US will remain strategically aligned to meet geopolitical challenges posed by Russia and China.

But in a second phase, the two governments have to negotiate on Brexit and the relationship with the EU, and that will be a "big test," according to the diplomat.

The diplomat predicted that “the question of how a truss government goes about it [NI] Protocol will be the first great test of relationships."

On Wednesday, Truss said she was determined to see the Northern Ireland Protocol bill fully implemented, even if it met time-consuming opposition in Parliament.

Politico suggested that the dispute over the protocol "pits Truss's home base against their country's greatest ally," as Truss' intentions to rewrite the protocol are clear.

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Truss replied: "I have accepted responsibility for negotiating the Northern Ireland Protocol, against much advice in Whitehall and against the wishes of some of the people you mentioned.

"And I'm going to make it very clear to people like Nancy Pelosi what I think about this and exactly what we need to do. I started delivering that.”

She added that the bill is "perfectly legal."

Mujtaba Rahman, Eurasia Group's managing director for Europe, also told Politico that the US-UK friendship "will not thrive" unless Truss repairs fences with the EU.

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