London: Amid the ongoing contest for the Tory leadership, top contender Liz Truss has promised to review all EU laws retained in the British statute book by the end of next year, and to scrap measures deemed to be holding back the City of London.
UK foreign secretary Truss, in a statement, vowed a “red tape bonfire” if she became prime minister, including reform of the Mifid II trading rules. She also promised to unleash the “full potential” of Britain post-Brexit.
“EU regulations hinder our businesses and this has to change. In Downing Street, I will seize the chance to diverge from outdated EU law and frameworks and capitalise on the opportunities we have ahead of us,” she was quoted as saying by the Financial Times.
This comes as Truss along with former British Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak emerged as the final two candidates in the country’s leadership race of the ruling Conservative party on Wednesday.
Earlier this week, International Trade Minister Penny Mordaunt was knocked out in the final round of ballot among Conservative lawmakers. Sunak won 137 votes and Truss 113. The contest to replace Boris Johnson as prime minister will now go before the Conservative Party’s 200,000-odd dues-paying members, who will select the winner later this summer via mail-in ballot.
The winner, to be announced on Sept. 5, will automatically become Johnson’s successor. Though Sunak has won each of the five rounds of voting by lawmakers, a YouGov poll published on Tuesday showed that he was less popular with the party’s grassroots. He is predicted to lose to Truss, a favourite of the party’s right-wing, in the head-to-head contest.
Both candidates have made pledges on tax cuts as the cost-of-living crisis continues to bite. However, Sunak dismissed as “fairytales” his rivals’ promises of immediate tax cuts, arguing that inflation must be brought under control first.
Inflation in Britain rose by 9.4 per cent in June, hitting a fresh 40-year high, official statistics showed on Wednesday. Truss, on the other hand, promised to start cutting taxes from day one. The Tory leadership race was triggered after Johnson was forced to step down on July 7 by an avalanche of resignations of government officials, who protested against his scandal-plagued leadership.
Johnson continues to serve as caretaker prime minister until a new Tory leader succeeds him.