Foreign Secretary Liz Truss has been helicoptered in to replace Lord Frost after the UK’s Brexit negotiator resigned last night.
Lord Frost, who helped to negotiate Britain’s departure from the EU in his role as Brexit Minister, resigned with immediate effect yesterday evening. Downing Street has since announced that Foreign Secretary Truss will assume ministerial responsibility for the UK’s relationship with the European Union.
Frost’s resignation comes as a major blow for Johnson who has this week faced a series of challenges to his leadership including a 99-MP strong Tory rebellion, the loss of a by-election in North Shropshire and ongoing claims that the government broke lockdown rules by hosting Christmas parties.
Frost cited concerns over raising taxes and Covid-restrictions in his resignation letter.
“You know my concerns about the current direction of travel,” wrote Frost. “I hope we will move as fast as possible to where we need to get to: a lightly regulated, low-tax, entrepreneurial economy, at the cutting edge of modern science and economic change.
“We also need to learn to live with Covid and I know that is your instinct too. You took a brave decision in July, against considerable opposition, to open up the country again. Sadly it did not prove to be irreversible, as I wished, and believe you did too. I hope we can get back on track soon and not be tempted by the kind of coercive measures we have seen elsewhere,” Frost continued.
Frost has been playing a key role in negotiating with the EU over the Withdrawal Agreement and Northern Ireland Protocol.
Last night Johnson praised Frost for helping to “maximise the economic and political opportunities for Brexit.” The prime minister added: “You have helped highlight and sought to address the destabilising impact of the current operation of the Northern Ireland protocol is having on communities in Northern Ireland, which is undermining the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement.”