Letter: Liz Truss hardly has a great record that's worth backing

It is understandable Robert Largan is keen to praise the achievements of both the candidates for the leadership of the Conservatives, one of whom he will be expected to support when they become Prime Minister.

By Sharon Brandom
Friday, 5th August 2022, 11:00 am
Updated Friday, 5th August 2022, 11:51 am

But his claim that Liz Truss has secured ground-breaking free trade agreements with our partners across the world is hard to justify.

Most of the agreements reached by Ms Truss were nothing more than 'roll-over' agreements, replacing the agreements we had with countries through our membership of the EU and which had lapsed when we left.

The House of Commons Library reports only three genuinely new agreements have been negotiated. Two of these are those with Australia and New Zealand, both of which caused concern over the threats they pose British farmers. The third is a digital trade deal with Singapore.

'It is understandable Robert Largan is keen to praise the achievements of both the candidates for the leadership of the Conservatives', writes reader Martin Willey.

Ms Truss ceased to be Secretary of State for International Trade in September 2021 and these deals were actually signed by Anne-Marie Trevelyan.

No doubt Ms Truss would claim credit for preparatory work but the record of only three genuinely new deals since the UK voted six years ago to leave the EU seems decidedly thin to support Mr Largan’s ringing endorsement.

Martin Willey

Buxton

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