Thursday, 20 Jan 2022

‘The one to finish Brexit!’ Truss backed to strike early EU deal before French elections

Brexit: Liz Truss can ‘finish Brexit’ says Marc Roche

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The European Union could hand Britain a huge win early on this year as Brussels scrambles to wrap up the ongoing Brexit negotiations. Political expert Marc Roche told BBC Dateline that Liz Truss could be the one to finish off the Brexit rows. Mr Roche, who writes for the French weekly Le Point, said the EU was keen to wrap up talks before the French presidential elections.

With Liz Truss taking over from Lord David Frost and the French election, BBC host Shaun Ley questioned whether a deal could be struck.

He asked: “Is it possible for a reset of the UK-EU relationship and a more positive one?”

Mr Roche started off by lashing out at Lord Frost’s legacy in Brussels.

The expert claimed that the Europeans loathed Lord Frost “even more than Boris Johnson”.

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He said: “Well, good riddance that Frost has gone. He was hated in Brussels.

“He was an ideologue. He was saying something different in private and then in public. He was unemotional, he was a cold fish.

“Liz Truss could be the one to finish Brexit because she is a pragmatist I think.

“There is also a lot of goodwill on the European side to solve the issue of Northern Ireland and migrants because Europe wants to move on.

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“There will be a French President, there is a new Chancellor in Germany, and there are a lot of challenges to be met and Brexit is at the end of it.”

Boris Johnson appointed Ms Truss on December 19 while keeping her foreign and equalities duties intact.

Mr Roche is not the only one to claim an early Brexit deal could be struck.

Simon Coveney, Ireland’s Foreign Minister, insisting that negotiations over the Northern Ireland Protocol – a long-standing issue – “can’t drift on for months”.


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Mr Coveney urged a conclusion to the talks by February, before elections in Northern Ireland.

DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson has called on Ms Truss to provide a “clear date” for ending the talks.

Later on BBC Dateline, Mr Roche also predicted that Valérie Pécresse will beat Emmanuel Macron if the right-wing Les Républicains candidate makes it into the second round.

Analysts say Ms Pécresse poses a formidable threat to the president as she targets his voters on the centre-ground of French politics.

Mr Roche said: “She is a traditional right-wing Gaullist and Macron will lose, because part of the left will go for a Gaullist.

“Macron is hated by the left because he is seen as a president of the rich.”

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