Lord Trimble’s widow says ‘his legacy will be safe’ with Liz Truss as PM

Ms Truss also pledged to make sure that people and businesses in the province “can benefit from the same tax breaks” as those situated in Great Britain.

She said fixing the Protocol issue will get the Stormont Assembly “back up and running”, adding: “As we make progress we will see power sharing reestablished.”

Sunak vows to restart talks with EU

At the same event, Mr Sunak took a different tack, promising to restart talks with the EU and seek a quickfire deal that would break the deadlock.

The ex-chancellor said people should be “in no doubt” about his commitment to the Protocol Bill, but warned that it will “take time to pass”.

“Of course, as a new prime minister, in the interim I would seek to talk to Europe and Ireland and the French to see if we can find a negotiated outcome,” he said.

“History shows us even when Europe say they’re not open to changing something, they have. A negotiated outcome will be far quicker so it’s worth trying.”


We need a prime minister who will defend our Union – and Liz Truss is that person

By Lady Trimble 

We need a prime minister who is proud of our Union and not only unafraid to say it, but willing to stand up for our values at home and abroad. 

It is clear that our values are under threat – at home from the tide of identity politics, and abroad as we have seen all too starkly from Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine.

I firmly believe that, based on these criteria, Liz Truss is the best candidate for prime minister. 

Her Unionist credentials are undisputed and her record proves her commitment to upholding our values. She has stood up to Russia on the international stage and led our strong response to Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, including supporting our allies in Eastern Europe. 

At home, she has always been a proud defender of freedom of speech, pushing back against the identity politics lobby in her role as minister for women and equalities. She has a plan to deliver for our families and communities.

Unionism is another core Conservative value that is under threat, primarily as a result of the Northern Ireland Protocol. The Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement was one of the greatest political achievements of the 20th century and, I am proud to say, a core part of the legacy of my late husband David, for which he won the Nobel Peace Prize along with John Hume. 

Together they brokered a hard-won peace agreement in one of the longest and most damaging conflicts this country has ever seen. That agreement is the bedrock of the prosperous and flourishing Northern Ireland we see today, based on relative political stability and peaceful cooperation.

Unfortunately, the Northern Ireland Protocol is putting these hard-won gains at risk. In David’s words: “It drives a coach and horses through the Agreement.” There needs to be a solution. 

It will not be easy, but the alternative is a continued political impasse in Northern Ireland, ongoing disillusion of the Unionist community, and ultimately a breakdown of the fabric of our United Kingdom. 

The Protocol was brokered in difficult circumstances to deliver on the key promises of Brexit for the whole UK, which itself is an essential prerequisite of our ability to act as an independent nation again. But clearly, now we are out of the European Union, we need to further develop our answer to how we address the challenges of Brexit on the island of Ireland so that it works for all parties and does not put at risk the peace my husband brokered.

This negotiation will take fortitude and strength of will, as David stressed in his last published article. In negotiations with the European Union, we cannot allow ourselves to be bullied or bent to the will of the EU. We must be prepared to stand up to Brussels and do whatever it takes to protect our Union and stability and prosperity in Northern Ireland. 

This will require an iron will in seeing the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill through Parliament and into law. Achieving this is essential if we are to restore our political institutions in Northern Ireland and if we are to show the European Union that we will do whatever it takes to deliver the right solution for the UK.

We need a prime minister committed to the defence of our shared values and who will defend our Union and stand up to all who threaten it. I believe that in this contest, Liz Truss has the best record and a viable plan to protect our Union and Northern Ireland’s integral place within it. 

I know David thought the same. One of the last things he did before we lost him was to ask his son to collect his voting papers so he could vote for Liz. He was adamant that she was what the country needed and I agree. 

She has already proven her resolve and bravery in the face of opposition to our most valuable asset, and I am confident that my husband’s legacy, peace in Northern Ireland, will be safe with her.

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