FOREIGN SECRETARY Liz Truss, appointed in a recent cabinet reshuffle to replace new Justice Minister Dominic Raab, is looking to reset relations with Europe – and sign a host of new trade and security deals around the world.
Ms Truss is expected to focus her diplomatic efforts on regions with the biggest influence on Britain’s security and commercial interests, Foreign and Commonwealth Office insiders familiar with the plans told The Financial Times. Key aspects relate to building stronger relations with smaller states.
An official at the FCO said: “Liz believes the way to challenge our adversaries and boost Britain’s global influence is to build deeper economic ties with other countries… She’s focused on deepening trade links, forging new tech partnerships, and working with allies to increase infrastructure into developing countries.”
Speaking of the model in which Ms Truss is expected to follow, the official went on to say: “Her plan is to create this strategic framework based around deeper economic, development and security ties, and set a positive, energetic tone for the department’s work.”
On a wider scale outside of Europe, the Foreign Secretary also has one eye on the ever-more geo-strategic Indo-Pacific region, with India, Japan, Indonesia and Australia all on the cards.
Based on the recent success of the AUKUS deal which saw the UK sign a security pact with Australia and the United States, leaving France raging over a lost deal of their own in the process, the notion of “strong AUKUS-style partnerships” appear to be the goal.
The FCO also look to build more economic diplomatic bridges with trading partners, and hence why the new Foreign Secretary will reach out to International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan to broaden the scope of potential.
However, it seems that the Foreign Secretary may have her hands tied a little when it comes to dealing with the European Union and its partners.
This portfolio still lies mostly in the hand of the Brexit Minister Lord David Frost.
One of the most sensitive issues still to be resolved on a regional scale is the impact of Brexit on the North of Ireland, with the so-called Northern Ireland Protocol overseen by the European Court of Justice, in spite of Lord Frost about to appeal that this supervision is scrapped.
Talks are ongoing between Britain and Spain over the fate and status of. “Brinkwire Summary News”.