Liz Truss: Trade deals are being set up at the 'right speed'
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The new Foreign Secretary said last week’s unveiling of a security pact with the US and Australia showed Britain’s readiness to be “hard-headed” in defence of its interests. Paris lashed out at the UK, claiming it is the junior partner in the deal and is hiding in the “American lap”. France had a £30billion agreement with Australia to supply conventional submarines and was blindsided when the agreement was ditched in favour of a deal with the US and UK for a fleet of nuclear-powered vessels.
Ms Truss said the agreement underlined the UK’s commitment to the Indo-Pacific and that Britain would always be a “fierce champion” of freedom and free enterprise around the world.
“But freedoms need to be defended, so we are also building strong security ties around the world,” she said.
“That is why last week the Prime Minister announced, alongside our friends President Biden and Prime Minister Morrison, the creation of a new security partnership called Aukus. It shows our readiness to be hard-headed in defending our interests and challenging unfair practices and malign acts.”
President Emmanuel Macron reacted to the pact by recalling the French ambassadors to Washington and Canberra – a move virtually unprecedented among such close allies.
But France’s envoy in London was not ordered back to Paris, however. Europe Minister Clement Beaune suggested it was because the UK was the “junior partner”.
He said: “Our British friends explained to us they were leaving the EU to create Global Britain.
“This is a return into the American lap.”
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