Political disagreements: this is the reason given by David Frost, former British Brexit negotiator, to justify his departure from the government of Boris Johnson. The secretary of state resigned a week ago.
The news was first revealed by the UK’s Mail on Sunday and then confirmed by Downing Street, which published David Frost’s resignation letter and the government’s response. According to the newspaper headline, which quotes a government source, David Frost expressed his “disillusion” with the “direction” of British politics.
The Secretary of State would notably disagree with the new restrictions to fight the coronavirus, the tax hike and the dynamic chosen to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.
Boris Johnson in trouble
This is a big blow to the British Prime Minister, as David Frost was handling the hot topic of Brexit implementation on behalf of the government. A supporter of a hard line against the European Union, he led the negotiations with the latter, in particular concerning the application of the controversial protocol on Northern Ireland. The latter establishes a new customs regime for this British province, which de facto maintains it in the single market and the European customs union.
The departure of David Frost adds to the list of bad news received by Boris Johnson this week. The Prime Minister has indeed already suffered a sling from his camp about measures against Covid and the loss of a Conservative stronghold during a by-election in England. A ballot triggered by the resignation of an elected official sanctioned for a lobbying affair, which Boris Johnson is accused of having wanted to protect, before backing down.
If the Mail on Sunday claimed that the British Prime Minister had convinced David Frost to remain in his post until January, the person concerned apparently denied this information. In a letter, this career diplomat deplored the leak of his resignation to the press, while specifying that the latter took effect immediately.
Saying “sorry” for this departure, Boris Johnson finds himself in a complicated situation which has earned him many attacks, including in the ranks of the majority. MP Andrew Bridgen thus estimated that the Prime Minister was facing a “decisive moment”. “He has to change or go,” he told Times Radio.
The deputy leader of the Labor opposition, Angela Rayner, has also reacted to the departure of David Frost on Twitter, believing that Boris Johnson “is not made for the job”. “We deserve better than this buffoonery”, she criticizes, the “government is in total chaos precisely when the country goes through weeks of uncertainty”.