The former Brexit Party MEP has slapped down the suggestion Boris Johnson’s dealing with the EU had lowered Britain’s status in the eyes of the world. Ms Widdecombe argued on the Jeremy Vine show the incoming Prime Minister of the UK “needs to stand up to the EU.”
Discussing Britain’s new Prime Minister on Jeremy Vine, Ms Smith exclaimed: “She of course as Foreign Secretary had started the legislation that potentially could have seen us get into a massive row with the EU and reduce our status even further in the world as a country that can’t live up to the treaties it signs.
“The truth is that we’re actually doing very well with status in the world particularly because of Ukraine,” hit back Ms Widdecombe.
“What we have to do is to stand up to the EU.”
She added: “They are actually taking a line that when we are moving goods from one part of the United Kingdom to another, nothing to do with them, that it’s their business.”
Ireland’s premier has congratulated Liz Truss on becoming the next UK Prime Minister, saying he hopes to reach an agreement on issues around the Northern Ireland Protocol.
Micheal Martin said a “pathway” to resolving the matter can be found “if there is a will” and that the Irish Government will work with the British Government and the European Union “to do the practical and sensible thing”.
He said a strong partnership between the two Governments is “vital” to underpin the Good Friday Agreement and support peace and prosperity on the islands.
Ms Truss became the UK’s third female Prime Minister after meeting the Queen at Balmoral on Tuesday.
She was appointed at the Queen’s Scottish estate shortly after Boris Johnson tendered his resignation.
As foreign secretary, Ms Truss angered the EU by tabling the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill, which would allow ministers unilaterally to scrap the arrangements the UK signed up to as part of the Brexit withdrawal agreement.
“I wish to extend my congratulations to Liz Truss on her appointment today as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom,” Mr Martin said in a statement.
“A shared history and close ties of people, of economy, and of culture link our two countries.
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“A strong partnership between our two governments is vital to underpin the Good Friday Agreement and support peace and prosperity on these islands.
“I hope we can use the period ahead to prioritise EU-UK engagement and to reach agreed outcomes on the issues around implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol.
“I am committed to a strong and deep relationship between our countries, and to working in an open and constructive way with Prime Minister Truss.
“I look forward to our close co-operation and early engagement as we face important issues on these islands and globally.”