The Labour MP penned a four-page letter attacking Ms Truss’ legacy after Anne Maire Trevelyan was reassigned to negotiate post-Brexit trade negotiations. Thornberry’s nasty letter that goes after former Trade Minister Ms Truss identified 25 “mistakes to correct” while criticising post-Brexit trade gains.
“There are great opportunities for the UK to both increase our exports worldwide from sectors where we are already world-famous, from food and drink to financial services, nut also to be global leaders in the fastest-growing new export markets, in areas ranging from green technology to digital services, all with a view to driving increased jobs and growth at home,” Ms Thornberry penned.
Continuing, she wrote: “However, before we can discuss that positive agenda, it is important to address the numerous and varied problems you have inherited from your predecessor.”
“While Liz Truss did not succeed in completing a single new agreement that we did not already have inside the EU during her two years and two months in the trade role, she has not left you with an entirely blank sheet of paper.”
“Instead, there are a large number of difficulties to resolve and mistakes to correct.”
The great majority of UK post-Brexit trade treaties have been continuation agreements that rollover provisions or arrangements made while the UK was an EU member. However, Ms Thornberry’s letter appears to ignore two separate agreements with the EU.
The UK reached a deal with Japan in 2020, Ms Truss called the arrangement “groundbreaking and British-shaped” at the time. It secured benefits beyond the EU-Japan pact for the UK economy.
Fast-forward to 2026, and nearly all Japanese exports are now duty-free. The letter also ignored accords with Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein. The arrangement, announced in June, expanded on the EU continuity pact that went into effect in January.
The deal emphasised digital trade while lowering tariffs and increasing quotas for British exports like pork and poultry. Imports of prawns, shrimp, and whitefish have also become cheaper.
Ms Truss was promoted to Foreign Secretary on Wednesday for her performance in trade. Beyond the new contract and continuity agreements, the South West Norfolk MP has negotiated many high-profile arrangements that will be finalised soon. Plans for finalising deals with Australia, New Zealand, India and joining the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership are set to complete shortly.
Ms Truss’ record as Trade Secretary made her a favourite among Conservatives.
Her new duty will be to promote Boris Johnson’s Global Britain agenda globally. Ms Trevelyan said she was “delighted” to be entering the Cabinet as trade minister.