Liz Truss, Brexit, and our relationship with the EU


Liz Truss may have voted against Brexit, but that won’t soften anything in Britain’s relationship with the European Union should she become Prime Minister. The opposite is the case.

Chris Whitehouse, Chair of Whitehouse Communications, and a prominent political consultant and public affairs lobbyist, sounds a warning that EU glee over the departure of Boris Johnson could be premature.

Sounds of popping Champagne, Prosecco and Sekt corks around European capital cities at the departure from office of Brexit-delivering British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, are rather premature. Those celebrating what they might see as an opportunity for Britain to plead, tail between its legs, for readmission to EU membership should be careful to whom they drink.

Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak are now the two candidates whose names are put to the membership of the Conservative Party, speculation suggesting some 200,000 voters at most, and it is they, not the international elite consensus who will decide who the Party’s next Leader will be. They, and they alone, will decide the United Kingdom’s new Prime Minister, whose identity will be known for sure on 5th September, though we may have a very good idea some time before that from internal Conservative Party polling.

As a political consultancy, Whitehouse Communications will continue to advise its clients how best to influence public policy under whichever of the two candidates becomes Prime Minister, but they each have a problem in the eye of this very special electorate, which they will need urgently to address.

Boris Johnson left the Commons this week with more bravura and bombast than any other ousted Prime Minister in my 40 years in Westminster, and as he reminded the Commons, he had delivered the largest Conservative majority in those same 40 years. Boris, rightly, has a special place in the heart of Conservative Party members, whose unpaid slog delivers the on-the-ground means of identifying Conservative voters and getting them out on polling day.

They look a tad suspiciously at the two candidates vying for their hearts and minds, and votes. Rishi Sunak they see as the one who stabbed their Brexit-delivering-Boris in the back by triggering the wave of ministerial resignations. We shall see whether the old saying holds true: ‘he who wields the knife never wears the crown’.

Liz Truss spoke and campaigned against that same Brexit. To win this internal Party election, she now has to convince its voters that there is absolutely no going back, not even a scintilla of dalliance with the thought. Thud. She’s begun doing this already by describing her previous position as a “mistake”. That’s a good start, but it’s not enough. She will have to convince these voters that she has an absolute commitment to maximise the benefits of Brexit, and a plan to deliver on that commitment.

Expect tough rhetoric on Europe from Liz Truss, and quickly, because postal vote forms start landing on Conservative Party members’ doormats very soon indeed.


Political consultancy

The Whitehouse Communications team are expert political consultants providing public relations and public affairs consulting and political analysis to a wide range of clients, not only in the United Kingdom, but also across the member states of the European Union and beyond. For more information, please contact Whitehouse Communications Chair, Chris Whitehouse, at

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