Liz Truss: Russia face sanctions if Ukraine invaded
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Boris Johnson seems to be taking the scenic route out of office, having repeatedly demanded MPs and the public wait for the result of Sue Gray’s much-anticipated investigation into a string of parties that took place in Downing Street during coronavirus lockdowns. Punters are now placing bets on a raft of replacements for the Prime Minister, and among Tory voters Liz Truss has emerged as a clear frontrunner.
In just short span of two years, Ms Truss has become one of the most well-known names in politics.
The now foreign secretary took what is generally an average-ranking Cabinet role, and transformed herself into the embodiment of post-Brexit Britain’s worldwide ambitions.
Her success with Brexit trade deals has elevated her profile considerably over the last 18 months, and she is the clear favourite among the party’s grassroots supporters.
In a December survey of Conservative Home members, Ms Truss led by 18 points over her closest competitor Rishi Sunak.
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In 2021 she has captured the imagination of Tory voters, having risen from second place behind Mr Sunak in August.
Even Express.co.uk voters have consistently voted for her as the best replacement for Mr Johnson in recent months.
Her popularity among grassroots voters can be easily explained – Ms Truss is depicted as a leading advocate of free market economics, the backbone of conservatism, which has been squandered somewhat by Mr Johnson’s more interventionist approach to governing.
She has turned into an assertive Brexiteer despite her Remainer past, having previously said: “I am backing Remain as I believe it is in Britain’s economic interest and means we can focus on vital economic and social reform at home.”
n June 2016, just days before the Brexit vote, Ms Truss tweeted: “Leave cannot name one country we would get a better trade deal with if we left the EU.”
Since then, the Tory rank and file favourite has considerably changed tack, particularly with her promotion to International Trade Secretary in Mr Johnson’s ‘Get Brexit Done’ Government.
But as Britain moves further away from its departure from the EU, the more voters become concerned with the new pressing issues of the day.
So what new policies could Prime Minister Liz Truss enact?
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Rishi Sunak’s decision to hike National Insurance for workers across the UK has been unpopular, and was a direct break of a key 2019 manifesto pledge.
Ms Truss philosophy harks back to that of Margaret Thatcher – favouring low taxation and little state intervention.
However, it’s difficult to predict whether tax for ordinary people would change under a Truss government, as tax reductions are uncommon for UK governments.
US trade deal
Despite being one of Mr Johnson’s top priorities since being elected in 2019, the Prime Minister has failed to procure a trade deal with the US in the aftermath of Brexit.
During her time as Trade Secretary, Ms Truss procured a number of deals in the post Brexit market.
While she said in October last year that a deal with the Americans is not a “be all and end all”, it has been touted as one of the biggest boons to leaving the bloc – and is particularly important to a breadth of the pro Brexit Tory voter base.
Being the MP for a rural constituency in Norfolk, it would be hoped Ms Truss would back UK farmers.
But her trade deals with New Zealand and Australia threaten to undercut British farmers, as farming produce from other countries does not meet the same standards required of UK farmers.
It’s likely that if Ms Truss took the top spot, she would level out the playing field for UK and international farmers to win the trust of a huge, traditional Tory voter base.
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