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UK Brexit supremo Frost resigns in blow to Johnson -Mail on Sunday

“Frost has sensationally resigned from Boris Johnson’s government,” the newspaper said.

Downing Street did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Frost has yet to make a public comment on the report.

The newspaper said Frost’s resignation had been prompted by the introduction of additional COVID-19 measures, including COVID passes, a broader discontent with tax rises and the cost of ‘net zero’ environmental policies.

If confirmed, the departure of the British government’s most senior Brexit negotiator is yet another blow to Johnson, who has faced warnings from some of his own lawmakers that he must improve his leadership or face a challenge.

Johnson said on Friday he took personal responsibility for the loss of a Conservative stronghold in an election defeat that showed public dismay over a litany of scandals and stepped up pressure from mutinous lawmakers.

“Lord Frost tendered his resignation a week ago – but was persuaded to stay until January,” the newspaper said on Twitter.

Frost, a supporter of Brexit who negotiated Johnson’s revised EU divorce deal and a trade agreement, has led the attempts by London to renegotiate the terms of Britain’s exit from the European Union.

BREXIT FUTURE

In a speech last month, Frost expressed his clear discontent with the current course of post-Brexit British policy.

“We have not successfully rolled back the frontiers of the European Union from Britain with Brexit, only to import that European model after all this time,” Frost said in a Nov. 22 speech at the Margaret Thatcher Conference on Trade.

He disagreed with “those who think we can treat the private sector as just a convenient way of keeping the public sector running”.

“It isn’t just a source of taxes,” Frost said. “We can’t carry on as we were before, and if after Brexit all we do is import the European social model we will not succeed.”

After talks with the EU, Frost said on Friday that negotiations were not close to solving problems that the Northern Irish protocol he negotiated had created.

“It is disappointing that it has not been possible to reach either a comprehensive or worthwhile interim agreement this year,” Frost said. “A solution needs to be found urgently early next year.”

“For as long as there is no agreed solution, we remain ready to use the Article 16 safeguard mechanism if that is the only way to protect the prosperity and stability of Northern Ireland and its people,” he said.

(Writing by Guy Faulconbridge; Editing by William Schomberg and Catherine Evans)


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