The crisis worsens for Boris Johnson, who loses his Brexit minister

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson sank further into the crisis on Sunday, after the surprise resignation of his Brexit minister, at the end of a week marked by a sling in his own camp and an electoral fiasco.

The immediate departure of David Frost, 56, precipitated by the revelation of the information on Saturday evening by the Mail on Sunday, leaves a void on the British side as the difficult negotiations with the European Union on the implementation of post-Brexit arrangements in Northern Ireland are not completed.

Two years after his electoral triumph over the promise to achieve Brexit, Boris Johnson finds himself surrounded by scandals and this week suffered a sling from his camp over measures against COVID-19 and then the loss of a Conservative stronghold in the occasion of a by-election in England.

It is also facing a surge in COVID-19 cases, due to the Omicron variant.

In his resignation letter, published on Saturday night by Downing Street, David Frost cited the new restrictions to fight the coronavirus, the tax hike and the policy followed to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 to explain his departure.

“You know my concerns about the current direction of things,” he wrote to Boris Johnson, stressing that with Brexit secured, “the challenge for the government now is to realize the opportunities it gives us. “.

Boris Johnson said he was “sorry” for the resignation of David Frost, expressing his gratitude for the work he has done.

Health Minister Sajid Javid told Sky News on Sunday “understand the reasons” which led David Frost, “a man of principle”, to leave.

“Decisive moment”

On Times radio, the former Northern Irish Prime Minister Arlene Foster, pushed to leave in April because considered too moderate, judged the departure of David Frost “very, very disappointing”, believing that he “understood” the problems created by the new post-Brexit arrangements in Northern Ireland.

The Deputy Leader of the Labor opposition, Angela Rayner, reacted on Twitter by saying that the government was “in total chaos precisely when the country is going through weeks of uncertainty”.

“@BorisJohnson is not up to the task. We deserve better than this buffoonery, ”she added.

In the ranks of the majority, the deputy Andrew Bridgen estimated Saturday evening that it was for Boris Johnson of a “decisive moment”. “He has to change or go,” he told Times Radio. On Twitter, this ardent Brexiter underlined that the head of government was “running out of time and friends to keep the promises and the discipline of a true Conservative government”.

According to the Conservative Home site, influential in the majority, “it is impossible to interpret such a formal attack on Boris Johnson’s record other than as, at least, cooperation in attempts to bring him down.”

A supporter of a hard line against the European Union, David Frost led the negotiations for the Brexit agreement for London and then its implementation, especially 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 United Kingdom and the EU have been trying for several months to agree on the implementation of the text, effective since the beginning of the year. While David Frost has taken an inflexible stance in demanding that any recourse to European justice for the settlement of disputes be ruled out, the government recently seemed to soften its position on this matter.

“We had difficult relations, but we have always continued the Franco-British dialogue”, tweeted the French Minister for European Affairs Clément Beaune, greeting “with respect” David Frost. “It is time for the British government to rebuild a climate of trust with France and the EU, in the interest of all”.

A career diplomat, David Frost worked in Brussels in the 1990s and was Ambassador to Denmark from 2006 to 2008. He also headed the Scotch Whiskey Association (SWA).

Watch video

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *