Truss and Biden tipped for tense Brexit conversation

Liz Truss arrives for first audience with King Charles III

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Brexit is guaranteed to be on the agenda when Liz Truss stages her first meeting with the US President since she became Prime Minister last week. Meanwhile, the new occupant of Number 10 is being tipped to stamp her authority on her new Government with a frenetic round of activity this week.

Ms Truss will meet Mr Biden at Number 10 tomorrow, along with Irish Taoiseach Micheal Martin, Canadian premier Justin Trudeau and Polish leader Andrzej Duda in Downing Street.

Ms Truss previously met Mr Biden as foreign secretary, but this will be their first in-person conversation since she replaced Boris Johnson.

The fallout from Britain’s departure from the EU – and specifically the thorny question of the Northern Ireland Protocol – will doubtless be a subject for discussion between the two world leaders.

In a statement issued after a phone conversation last week, the White House said they had discussed “the importance of reaching a negotiated agreement with the EU on the Northern Ireland protocol”.

The protocol is intended to prevent a hard border on the island of Ireland – but critics claim it has instead resulted in a border down the Irish Sea

Mr Biden has previously warned Ms Truss against triggering Article 16, hence suspending the Protocol.

He has claimed to do so would jeopardise the landmark 1998 Good Friday Agreement, widely credited with bringing an end to the so-called Troubles.

Earlier this year, Ms Truss introduced her Northern Ireland Bill aimed at “fixing” the ongoing problems.

Mr Biden has hinted that any UK-US trade deal is likely to hinge on Ms Truss’s approach to the issue.

The protocol is also likely to crop up when Ms Truss speaks to Mr Martin, amid strained relations between the two countries over the trading arrangements.

Ms Truss will met New Zealand’s PM Jacinda Ardern and Australian leader Anthony Albanese on Saturday at Chevening in Kent.

The conversation between Ms Truss and Mr Albanese may also touch on trade, with the countries last year signing a deal estimated by the Government to be worth £2.3 billion to the UK economy.

When his UK counterpart won the Tory leadership contest earlier this month, the Australian PM tweeted: “I look forward to a continued constructive relationship and friendship between our nations and people.”

The Chinese foreign ministry has confirmed the country’s vice-president Wang Qishan will attend the state funeral on Monday, rather than leader Xi Jinping.

He is not expected to be among those to meet Ms Truss during the visit.

Meanwhile Ms Truss is believed to be planning to roll out a raft of announcements following the Queen’s funeral on Monday.

On Wednesday Business Secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg will announce details of the government’s huge energy support package for businesses with deputy prime minister and health secretary Thérèse Coffey outlining her plans to get the NHS through the winter the following day.

Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng will on Friday confirm plans to scrap increases in national insurance contributions and corporation tax in a move predicted to cost £30 billion annually.

He will also abolish the cap on bankers’ bonuses.

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