German newspaper brands Liz Truss the new Margaret Thatcher as Foreign Sec steps up

Liz Truss' allies calling for bid to take over from Prime Minister

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Ms Truss has taken over from Lord Frost in his role as Brexit Minister after he resigned on Friday. Speaking about the prominent UK politician, German newspaper Handelsblatt called her a “possible successor” to Boris Johnson.

It said: “The new British chief negotiator is considered a supporter of the Iron Lady – and a possible successor to the struggling Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

“Since her Christmas message a week ago, the world has known that Liz Truss believes there are bigger things out there for her: With festive lights, an old globe and the Union Jack in the background, the British Foreign Minister wished her supporters a Merry Christmas.

“Usually only the Queen addresses the British people in this form at Christmas.

“The 46-year-old conservative does not want to take the throne, but she has her eye firmly on No 10 Downing Street.

“Especially since the local host and Prime Minister Boris Johnson is politically badly damaged after numerous crises and there is open speculation about his successor in Great Britain.”

The Foreign Secretary is very popular within the Conservative party, having ranked first in “satisfaction ratings” in a Conservative Home poll of party members.

The top-ranking puts her ahead of Defence Secretary Ben Wallace, Lord Frost, Jacob Rees-Mogg and Chancellor Rishi Sunak.

Handelsblatt noted this popularity, saying: “Truss, popular with the Tories, is one of the favourites alongside Chancellor Rishi Sunak and already wanted to inherit Theresa May, who was pushed out of office by the Brexit supporters of her party, two years ago.

“In addition, the Foreign Minister is already revered by her supporters as the new Margaret Thatcher.”

However, it described her new brief as Brexit negotiator as “mission impossible”.

It said: “Johnson, however, has sent his secret challenger on a “Mission Impossible”: Truss, who was appointed Foreign Minister only three months ago, is taking on the impossible task of trying to bring the deadlocked negotiations from the recently resigned Brexit representative David Frost with the European Union (EU) on the controversial Northern Ireland Protocol to a successful conclusion in addition to her Foreign Office duties.”

Lord Frost had been locked in negotiations with his counterpart in Brussels, Maros Sefcovic, since October, in an attempt to resolve the issues with the Northern Ireland Protocol.

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But taking over the role, Ms Truss has said she plans to “pick up the pace” in the New Year.

In a statement, the Minister said: “We want a constructive relationship with the EU, underpinned by trade and our shared belief in freedom and democracy.

“Resolving the current issues is critical to unleashing that potential.

“The UK position has not changed. We need goods to flow freely between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the role of the ECJ as the final arbiter of disputes between us, and resolve other issues.

“We must pick up the pace on talks in the New Year.

“Our preference remains to reach an agreed solution.

“If this does not happen, we remain prepared to trigger Article 16 safeguards to deal with the very real problems faced in Northern Ireland and to protect the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement in all its dimensions.”

Lord Frost resigned last week over “concerns about the current direction of travel” in the UK Government.

Additional reporting by Monika Pallenberg.

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