TJM responds to the announcement of Liz Truss as new Prime Minister

Posted on September 05, 2022
Secretary of State for International Trade Liz Truss holds a Trade Envoy in the Foreign & Commonwealth Office.

Responding to the news that Liz Truss has been selected as the UK’s next Prime Minister, Ruth Bergan, Director of the Trade Justice Movement said:

“Liz Truss is becoming Prime Minister at a time when the country is facing serious challenges, not least of which is the surge in energy prices. We need a focussed and effective leadership able to use all policy levers to address these challenges. We call on the new Prime Minister to recognise the importance of getting trade policy right if we are to tackle them.

“The energy crisis is being driven by the actions of Vladimir Putin but we have long known that climate change will have similar effects, driving up prices as countries phase out fossil fuel use. Trade agreements will impact on energy security: for example, right now we see companies using them to challenge the phase out of fossil fuels - most recently making Italy pay out £210 million to Rockhopper after the country tried to halt drilling for oil and gas near its coast.

“We need to know now what the UK’s strategy is for trade. Liz Truss must set out as soon as possible how she believes trade can become part of the solution, instead of creating the roadblocks we see at the moment. It’s a strategy that has to be compatible with the UK climate commitments and other UN conventions. We must also follow countries such as Poland in withdrawing from the Energy Charter Treaty, which creates so many barriers to achieving vital policy change.

“Trade deals have wide-ranging and significant effects on the lives and rights of UK individuals. We urge Liz Truss to listen to the public who have been clear they want trade deals to reflect our values, and don’t want lower prices at the cost of lower standards. We also expect much better from the Government when it comes to public and parliamentary engagement in trade policy. Current provisions simply aren’t fit for purpose.

“Prime Minister Truss needs to listen to us now. We remain committed to working productively with government ministers and civil servants. We look forward to welcoming any new ministers and sharing with them our work and vision.”


Image: 07/10/2020. Secretary of State for International Trade Liz Truss holds a Trade Envoy in the Foreign & Commonwealth Office. Picture by Pippa Fowles / No 10 Downing Street. (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)