Liz Truss defends her tax cut plans
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A cross-Atlantic row over Brexit is set to mar Liz Truss’s first meeting with Joe Biden in New York today as the US President attempts to bully Britain into caving in to demands from the EU. It comes after Ms Truss admitted that she has put UK/ US trade talks on the backburner because of Biden’s hostility to Brexit Britain and the two have already made it clear they do not agree over economic policy. MPs have also privately speculated that the US President may also be smarting from not having a place of honour at the Queen’s funeral on Monday.
In briefings ahead of their crunch talks today, the US President made it clear that he will communicate his “strong view that the Good Friday Agreement must be protected,.”
He added that he would “encourage the U.K. and the European Union to work out an effective outcome.”
The President has claimed that Brexit is now a danger to peace in Northern Ireland.
However, Ms Truss has been equally firm that she will not back down to attempts from the Democrats, who are facing electoral defeat in the November midterm elections, to force Britain to accept the UK being effectively broken up to appease Brussels.
The confrontation comes as another senior Democrat Nancy Pelosi, the House Speaker, visited Ireland in a bid to pressure Ms Truss’ government this week.
Previously, UK ministers have attacked Pelosi and Biden of being “ignorant” on the true facts of Northern Ireland.
There is a belief in Whitehall and among Government ministers that the Democrats are “in the pocket” of the Irish lobby which in turn takes its instructions from Sinn Fein, the Irish Republican movement which many believe still has links to the IRA army council.
As Foreign Secretary Ms Truss introduced the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill which will remove the worst aspects of the temporary deal with the EU over Ulster remaining in the Single Market.
If the bill is passed then it will allow meat and medicines to be exported from the mainland Britain to Northern Ireland without any checks.
It will also allow Northern Ireland to benefit from VAT tax cuts should they happen on Friday.
After her meeting with Mr Biden, Ms Truss is also set to have a showdown with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.
The issue of the Northern Ireland protocol will dominate the first talks between the two women since Ms Truss became Prime Minister although Ms Truss avoided speaking about it with French President Emmanuel Macron yesterday.
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Mutual support for tackling Russia over Ukraine, however, should provide some unity in both the meetings with Biden and von der Leyen.
However, Brexiteers are backing the Prime Minister not to cave into demands from the US and EU or pursue a trade deal at any cost with America.
Instead they want the new Prime Minister to secure the UK single market first.
There is also a strong belief that Mr Biden will either not run in 2024 or lose the election and a Republican President will take a more positive attitude towards Britain.
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