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Britain’s new Prime Minister Liz Truss is likely to take a more forceful approach to British foreign policy – including with the United States – at a time of major geopolitical upheaval, experts have told Fox News Digital.
Truss, a veteran Conservative Party official who is currently foreign minister, is expected to take a hawkish stance on both Russia and China. She is also expected to underline the special relationship between the UK and the US, as did her predecessor, Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
But amid tensions across the Atlantic over trade and Brexit issues, Truss may be willing to push back harder against the United States and President Biden on some issues.
“I don’t think she’s going to be afraid to fight with Joe Biden over crucial areas of British national interest. She’ll stand up to the US president if necessary,” said Nile Gardiner, former adviser to the former prime minister. British Margaret. Thatcher, told Fox News Digital. Gardiner now works for the curator Heritage Foundation.
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“Liz Truss is a determined and fiery figure,” John Kampfner, UK executive director of the Global Initiative for UK think tank Chatham House, told Fox News Digital. “She is an ardent ideologue, she is full of praise for Margaret Thatcher, both in terms of her domestic policy and her foreign policy.”
The most publicized split between Truss and Biden may be over Brexit and the so-called Northern Ireland Protocol, which was negotiated with the European Union as part of Brexit. The deal effectively leaves Northern Ireland, part of the United Kingdom, in the European Union’s single market, along with its neighbor the Republic of Ireland, an independent country.
UK leaders want to renegotiate the deal because, they say, it erodes Northern Ireland’s position within the UK. But European Union leaders – and some in Washington – oppose such a move, arguing it could jeopardize more than two decades of peace between Ireland. and Northern Ireland.
Kampfner said Truss had made his position on the Northern Ireland protocol clear – and would fundamentally disagree with Biden.
“She will upset the Biden administration in its approach to Northern Ireland and Europe,” Kampfner said of Truss.
“The White House has been of little help to Northern Ireland, and Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House, has repeatedly threatened Britain with frustrating a US-UK trade deal over of the Northern Ireland problem.” Gardiner said. “I expect Liz Truss to be more assertive in her dealings with Joe Biden than Boris Johnson.”
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Another area of potential contention between Truss and Biden could be the US administration’s efforts to renegotiate a nuclear deal with Iran.
Biden was vice president when the United States agreed to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) with several other countries, including the United Kingdom, aimed at limiting Iranian nuclear ambitions while easing sanctions against the rogue state. . Former President Donald Trump pulled out of the deal after taking office, reinstating the sanctions. And the Biden administration has made a new deal a priority since taking office.
Truss has yet to take a firm position on resuming negotiations. But some Conservative Party members of Truss are embittered at the prospect of negotiations, Gardiner said, referring to “the possibility that you see a break from where the United States is now.”
Kampfner, meanwhile, predicted that Truss may seek flexibility on the Iran issue to avoid stoking divisions with the United States on more fronts than necessary.
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China could also be an area of disconnect between Truss and the Biden administration, Kampfner said, despite both countries moving toward more hawkish stances on the Asian nation.
“She’s very tough on China,” Kampfner said. “Britain has called China a ‘systemic competitor’. And they want to call it an ‘acute threat’, which is a step forward. Is this going too far for the Biden administration?”
“Under Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, David Cameron, Theresa May, the UK has sought to build stronger economic relations with China,” Gardiner said. “Which, in the case of Chinese telecommunications companies, like Huawei for example, threatened national security. So Liz Truss favors a much more robust approach to China.”
Truss’ warmongering also extends to Russia and beyond, according to Kampfner, who said the new prime minister seeks to upend the way international organizations do business in the 21st century. Whether that will succeed remains to be seen, he said.
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“She presents herself as a chief troublemaker in a troubled world. … She sees all these multinational institutions, and she sees them as stalled or atrophied or bankrupt,” Kampfner said. “She kind of presents herself as what Uber did for transportation, she wants to do it for public diplomacy.”
He added: “It sounds interesting. Whether or not you can do it when you have to invest long-term in partnerships and relationships, and when you’re a medium-sized country…I think she’ll temper it eventually… she really takes a pretty ultra-radical position.”
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