Washington is taking note of the Conservative leadership contest. From this side of the Atlantic, Liz Truss looks almost certain to be the next prime minister, barring an extraordinary upset.
The outcome of the race for Downing Street could have major implications for the Special Relationship over the next few years. U.S. Republicans are hopeful that a Truss premiership will boost ties between American and British conservatives and enhance the prospects for a U.S./U.K. trade deal—especially if the Left loses control of Congress in the November midterms.
Democrats are nervous that a Truss government would be more assertive towards the White House over Northern Ireland and Brexit, and challenge the Biden administration over aspects of U.S. economic or foreign policy, such as its weakness on Iran.
America’s Beltway ruling class, much like their EU compatriots, would undoubtedly prefer to deal with Rishi Sunak as prime minister, someone who would be more deferential and compliant in his dealings with them. In contrast, they nervously see Liz Truss as a more formidable figure who will not be afraid to take on the liberal establishment at home and abroad.
In essence, she is a standard bearer for Brexit, economic freedom, secure borders and national sovereignty. And that rings alarm bells from the White House to the Elysée Palace. U.S. leadership is declining, and the EU is sinking, gravely weakened by decades of dependency on Russian energy.
Enter Liz Truss. She is everything that Joe Biden, Emmanuel Macron and Olaf Scholz are not. A conservative, principled politician, she projects a strategic vision of a powerful West that is a bastion of freedom and self-determination. Equally alarming for the global elites, she is willing to reject the Big Government status quo.
A Truss-led government could be the most radical British Conservative administration since Margaret Thatcher, a game changer on the world stage, willing to challenge the old guard and offer conservative ideas and solutions to global problems. Truss understands, as did Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s, that strength and determination—combined with a belief in cutting taxes and regulations, and reining in the power of the state—are a tremendous formula for success.
It is highly encouraging that Ms Truss is feared, even hated by the enemies of the free world in Moscow, Beijing and Tehran. They understand that she will stand her ground. As foreign secretary, she amply demonstrated that she will not be intimidated by dictatorial regimes.
The growing absence of American leadership under Joe Biden demands that the U.K. play a bigger role on the global stage, from standing up to Russian aggression against Ukraine to resisting the nefarious global ambitions of China. While the U.S. giant sleepwalks and tyrannical regimes flex their muscles, Liz Truss can and must emerge as a powerful leader of the free world.
British leadership matters. The likely next prime minister should aggressively advance British interests in the transatlantic sphere. This includes reforming or scrapping the Northern Ireland Protocol, withdrawing from the European Convention on Human Rights, and seeking an alternative to the disastrous Iran nuclear deal. She must be willing to face down the Biden administration where needed, as well as EU leaders who seek to constrain British freedom and threaten to harm the U.K. if it dares stand up to Brussels.
Boldness, conviction and resolve must be the order of the day if Britain’s third female prime minister takes office. She should start by following the example of Lady Thatcher: a fearless defender of Britain and the principles of liberty that have sustained it for centuries.
This piece originally appeared in The Telegraph