Truss: No Deal With the US if they Ask for Higher Drug Prices

Liz Truss has been unusually clear on today’s Politics Live, saying that if the US demands higher drug prices in the UK in trade negotiations, the UK will walk away from the talks. Trade is, after all, meant to make things cheaper…

At first the Labour Party tried to claim the Tories wanted No Deal trade, now their attack line rests on the Tories going for an ‘any deal is better than No Deal’ philosophy. As far as Guido can make out, that’s what the Labour Party believes, not the Tories…

Truss Wakes Up and Smells the Coffee

Liz Truss suffered a very hot flush during a trade meeting recently when a Tory party vice-chair managed to knock an entire cup of coffee over her red ministerial folder. Luckily her SpAds were on hand with a spare…

Guido thought he’d save the face of the MP responsible, but suggests the Young Dude spends the next Five Years seeing to it that his behaviour Changes if reelected. He’s hardly become one of Truss’s Heroes…

UK Agrees Post-Brexit Trade Deals With Six More Countries

This week the UK reached agreements with South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, Eswatini and Mozambique for trade continuity after Brexit, ensuring deals will be signed worth £10 billion to the UK economy.

These new countries mean that Liz Truss’ Department for International Trade has reached agreements in the last few months with 44 countries and the Palestinian Authority. Guido brings you the full, ever growing list along with their population and GDP here…

  1. Antigua and Barbuda 102,012 1.532 billion
  2. Bahamas 395,361 12.16 billion
  3. Barbados 285,719  4.797 billion
  4. Belize 374,681 1.838 billion
  5. Botswana 2.292 million 17.41 billion
  6. Chile 18.95 million 277.1 billion
  7. Colombia 49.07 million 309.2 billion
  8. Costa Rica 4.906 million 57.06 billion
  9. Dominica 73,925 562.5 million 
  10. Dominican Republic 10.77 million 75.93 billion
  11. Ecuador 16.62 million 103.1 billion
  12. El Salvador 6.378 million 24.81 billion
  13. Eswatini 1.367 million 4.409 billion
  14. Faroe Islands 49,290 2.477 billion
  15. Fiji 905,502 5.061 billion
  16. Grenada 107,825 1.119 billion
  17. Guatemala 16.91 million 75.62 billion
  18. Guyana 777,859 3.676 billion
  19. Haiti 10.98 million 8.408 billion
  20. Honduras 9.265 million 22.98 billion
  21. Iceland 338,349 23.91 billion
  22. Israel 8.712 million 350.9 billion 
  23. Jamaica 2.89 million 14.77 billion
  24. Korea 51.47 million 1.531 trillion
  25. Lesotho 2.233 million 2.639 billion
  26. Lichenstein 37,810 6.289 billion
  27. Madagascar 25.57 million 11.5 billion
  28. Mauritius 1.265 million 13.34 billion
  29. Mozambique 29.67 million 12.33 billion
  30. Namibia 2.534 million 13.24 billion
  31. Nicaragua 6.218 million 13.81 billion
  32. Norway 5.258 million 398.8 billion
  33. Palestinian Authority 4.817 million 15 billion
  34. Panama 4.099 million 61.84 billion
  35. Papua New Guinea 8.251 million 21.09 billion 
  36. Peru 32.17 million 211.4 billion
  37. Seychelles 95,843 1.486 billion
  38. South Africa 56.72 million 349.4 billion
  39. St Kitts and Nevis 55,345 945.9 million
  40. St Lucia 178,844 1.712 billion
  41. St Vincent and the Grenadines 109,897 789.6 million
  42. Suriname 563,402 3.324 billion
  43. Switzerland 8.42 million 678.9 billion
  44. Trinidad and Tobago 1.369 million 22.1 billion
  45. Zimbabwe 16.53 million 17.85 billion

Remainers said the UK would never sign these deals by Brexit day…

Friday Caption Contest (Families that Eat Together Edition)

The winner of this week’s competition will receive a free copy of this summer’s must have: The Brexit Card Game. Entries in the comments…

EU Tariff War With Indonesia Gives Brexit Britain Opportunity to Cream Off Trade

The EU’s trade relations with South-East Asian powerhouse Indonesia have come under renewed strain with Indonesia preparing to slap a 20-25% tariff on dairy products from the EU in response to the EU whacking 8-18% tariffs on Indonesian biodiesel. How dair-EU!

Indonesia’s population of 260 million is over half the size of the entire EU, it’s currently the 16th largest economy in the world and growing at a pacey 5% a year. Indonesia’s trade minister is so cheesed off he’s ordered dairy importers to find new suppliers outside the EU. Indonesia is the fifth largest non-EU importer of dairy products in the world so this is no trifling matter.

After Liz Truss’s big cheese push at DEFRA, it just so happens that the UK will in a matter of weeks be the third largest non-EU exporter of dairy products in the world, and is about to regain control of its own tariff schedules, putting it in pole position to cream off the the EU’s market share. Brits get cheap biodiesel and textiles, while Indonesians will get top-quality Cheddar, Stilton, Yarg, Brie, Wensleydale and clotted cream. Perfect!

Gizza Job Bozza (Harper Edition)

As the leadership race draws to a close (less than a week to go now) MPs have started to follow in Amber Rudd’s footsteps and more openly pitch for Cabinet jobs. The most blatant of which being Mark Harper this morning…

After his brief leadership pitch, the former Chief Whip is clearly looking to get back into the Cabinet, clearly aiming for the low hanging fruit role of Northern Ireland Secretary. Few want it and the incumbent is sure to be one of the first out the door…

Harper is also following in the video footsteps of Liz Truss who made a slightly more subtle pitch at the start of the month focusing on business. She’s now widely tipped to lead a souped up Business department. #LizForBiz

We’ll start finding out if these pitches are successful in just a week’s time…

Runners & Riders: Who Will Be the Next Chancellor?

The reward for Cabinet ministers backing one of the two candidates is much hoped for preferment. What they would prefer most of all is to become Chancellor. The bookies’ three leading contenders are Liz Truss, Sajid Javid and Matt Hancock.

Sajid Javid is the bookies’ favourite at 5/6, Boris has noticeably referenced the Saj a few times at hustings, perhaps more than any other. Saj clearly wants the job. He has Treasury and financial markets experience so his qualifications are clear. He also is a tax cutter and the expectations are that Boris will return to the traditional Tory vote winning strategy of cutting taxes. Guido has to agree with the punters that Saj looks likely except…

Liz Truss (4/1) really wants to be the first woman Chancellor.* In line for a promotion as the first Cabinet minister to come out for Boris, and a tireless defender of him in the media. After listening to her job application / speech at a recent Taxpayers’ Alliance event, Guido really wants her to be Chancellor too. She is the darling of Westminster wonks and free market think tanks. Boris could appoint her, she would definitely make headlines. When Guido teased her recently by addressing her as “Madam Chancellor” she seemed to have difficulty suppressing a frisson. Expectations are that she will actually get BEIS. #Liz4Biz

Matt Hancock (11/2) did work in the Treasury for Osborne, understands it, would be popular choice with Treasury mandarins – which is possibly a good reason not to give it to him. Given he is doing a good job at Health he should perhaps spend some more time doing that. His ambition is unlimited and unhidden. Since the NHS is on target to be the biggest spending department, there is an argument that if power is his thing he should stay where he is…

And if Hunt wins? Guido hasn’t really given that much thought…

*Maggie wanted the job too, she had to settle for PM.

Who’s Backing Who: Ministers Start to Declare

As expected there were a few new declarations overnight in the Sunday papers. Liz Truss came out for Boris and Team Hunt encouraged three backers to go public. Nicky Morgan is another remainiac to come out for Gove. In the leading pack this moved Hunt ahead of Raab.

Guido suspects that Team Raab put out as many names as they could early on to give their candidate a good start and extra credibility from being in the lead. Hunt and Boris on the other hand are holding back and releasing only enough names to keep them in the leading pack. Showing momentum is the aim of the game, something the Saj and Hancock it seems are finding difficult…

At the back of the pack Rory Stewart added Ken Clarke to his list of supporters which puts him on level pegging with James Cleverly. So far 140 MPs have made their preferences known, some 47% of the MPs not running. Another week until nominations officially open…

UPDATE: Gauke Announces Support for Rory Stewart

UPDATE II: Sam Gyimah Enters Tory Leadership Race as Second Referendum Candidate 

View the full list here:

Get in touch with any updates…

Truss on Why She’s Not Running

Liz Truss on the next Tory leader…

“In order to command public trust we need someone who has backed Brexit from the start, because of the situation we’re in now.”

Politics is a Numbers Game

Liz Truss says politics is a numbers game…

‘The race is hotting up. I’m a great believer in politics – it’s not really about what you say, it’s all about the numbers. That’s what counts. I’m afraid to say, I am actually struggling on that front. I don’t have a great deal of numbers and some of my colleagues have built up a huge amount. I have to admit in this audience, I’ve only got one oven.’

Marr: Liz Truss is ‘the Cheerful Right Winger’

Tory Leadership Hopefuls: Who Are You?

We could be days away from a Tory leadership race if Theresa May loses a no confidence vote. The jostling for position on the Tory benches is becoming blatant. Leadership hopefuls are tapping up donors for support, assembling campaign teams and beaming as they glad-hand fellow MPs. With that in mind WPI Strategy commissioned a 2,000 head poll from Deltapoll with fieldwork done last week (25/26 March). They asked the public “Who would you recognise in the street?”

David Lidington would be recognised by 1 in 20 people – which seems on the high side. Liz Truss would be recognised by 1 in 14 people proving that not everyone is on Instagram. Dominic Raab will be disappointed that his brief profile raising period as Brexit Secretary means that 1 in 9 people claim they know his face. Then we get into potential leaders who do have some recognition with voters. Amber, Saj and Hunt are recognised by a quarter to a third of voters, Mogg (who is not running) and Gove are recognised by two fifths of voters. There is only one candidate who stands out with over three quarters of the public recognising him – Boris.

How Top Tories Responded to Brady’s Victory

Top Tories gave their reaction to last night’s votes on Newsnight – Graham Brady insisted that it was the Commons that had given May a mandate, not himself. A forceful Steve Baker told people to “wake up to the reality” that “that backstop is not getting through the House of Commons, not ever.” Boris reiterated that his support for May’s deal was conditional on the backstop being removed and replaced with alternative arrangements.

Liz Truss added that yesterday’s results were a “significant way forward” that showed that “there is a majority for the PM’s deal plus some changes to the backstop.” The EU have already launched a media blitz to insist it’s not possible but behind the scenes they have no choice but to digest the significance of the result…

Meanwhile on Planet Anna Soubry, it was all “deeply concerning” as she saw her party “drifting over to the right”. Cheer up…

Truss Categorically Rules Out Customs Union

The big question now is which way does May tack to try to secure a majority for her deal in Parliament.[…] Read the rest


Friday Caption Contest (Lizmoji Edition)

Entries in the comments…[…] Read the rest


Liz’s Lap Dance

The Commons erupts with cheers as Liz Truss can’t find a seat on the front bench for the Budget Statement and ends up sitting on Sajid Javid’s knee. Not the first time she’s sat on another MP’s lap…[…] Read the rest


Budget Photo 2018

The lady in red, Liz Truss, is wearing a £245 “Forever dress” from British designer, Karen Millen. The rest of the Treasury team are in dark grey suits.

Will this be Hammond’s last budget?[…] Read the rest


Liz Truss Backs Canada-Plus

Liz Truss has become the latest member of the Cabinet to cast doubt on Chequers following Penny Mordaunt’s refusal to explicitly back it this morning. Multiple sources told Guido that freedom-fighting Truss told an off-the-record dinner that the final Brexit outcome would be “between Norway and Canada” and reacted approvingly to the suggestion that it could be Canada-plus.[…] Read the rest


Liz Truss Takes Seat in Scottish Parliament

The Scottish Parliament has a surprising new addition this morning, with Chief Secretary to the Treasury Liz Truss taking a seat in the main chamber. However, she hasn’t done a job swap with Ruth Davidson – it turns out she had to take a seat in the main chamber as all the committee rooms were fully booked, forcing the Scottish Parliament’s Finance Committee to relocate there instead.[…] Read the rest


The Absolute Boyfriend

Liz Truss: “I do think MPs like Jess who do believe in those values need to stand up against Jeremy Corbyn and dump him.”

Jess Phillips: “You’re making him sound like my boyfriend…”

lolz[…] Read the rest


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