If political chameleon Liz Truss is to thrive, she must conform to the Northern Ireland protocol

Leaders should work on solutions where followers are fixated on problems, they say.

If the new British Prime Minister Liz Truss is to have a chance, she must master both equally.

To move from Greenwich Council to 10 Downing Street in just 13 years is quite an achievement.

There were reincarnations along the way. Her ideological journey from a liberal Democrat and avid retainer to where she is now – under the spell of a hardcore Brexit cabal – suggests she is nothing but adaptable.

Whether there is substance or vision, or if she is just a shameless opportunist remains to be seen. Our government looking through its fingers with a sense of foreboding; could take solace in the fact that she’s a proven political chameleon.

From an Irish and EU perspective, concerns will mainly focus on their handling of the Northern Ireland Protocol.

Is she willing to go head-to-head with Brussels and risk a full-scale trade war on top of a cost-of-living crisis and an energy boost? Or can she find a well hidden source of reason in her party and create room for compromise?

To date, London has rejected any overtures unless the EU backs down and agrees to repeal the protocol – something it is understandably reluctant to do, given the gibberish involved in its construction.

Relations between our two islands, meanwhile, needed to be remade like never before. But Dublin is tied to Brussels and single market prerogatives. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said she expected Britain to honor all aspects of the Brexit deal under Ms Truss.

“We face many challenges together, from climate change to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. I look forward to a constructive relationship in full compliance with our agreements,” added Ms. von der Leyen.

If Boris Johnson drew the original battle plan with the EU, Ms Truss added new red lines.

It will be difficult to retreat as much of their base supports a non-surrender stance towards the North. One might hope that the magnitude of the energy crisis and the pressure on families would open the door to sanity and tip the scales towards a compromise with Brussels. This requires bona fide efforts to fix elements in the protocol rather than melee with the EU. London claims it wants a negotiated solution but is sticking to its ultimatum of holding no talks unless Brussels reexamines the minutes.

Myopic compliance with DUP demands has prolonged the paralysis in the North. Last but not least, Ms. Truss has proven to be a pragmatic survivor. This suggests that change is possible. She’s also said to be most effective behind the scenes, which can be a key asset when brokering an escape of sorts.

The brinkmanship and swagger of her predecessor, Boris Johnson, often seemed alienated and repelled where perhaps reaching out might have been more rewarding. Whether Ms. Truss is willing to take such a step remains to be seen. She promised to deliver, and rarely has so much depended on a new prime minister keeping his word.

https://www.independent.ie/opinion/editorial/if-political-chameleon-liz-truss-is-to-succeed-she-will-need-to-be-adaptable-on-northern-ireland-protocol-41963668.html If political chameleon Liz Truss is to thrive, she must conform to the Northern Ireland protocol

Fry Electronics Team

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