Johnson drafts in trade chief as Brexit enforcer

Boris Johnson on Wednesday (17 February) drafted his chief Brexit negotiator David Frost as a senior minister in his cabinet with a portfolio as Brexit enforcer.

Frost will lead the UK’s institutional and strategic relations with the EU and police the management of the trade agreement which he brokered with the EU’s Michel Barnier last year.

A former advisor to Johnson in the Foreign Office before being appointed to negotiate the post Brexit trade deal with the EU when Johnson took over as Prime Minister in July 2019, Frost’s pugnacious approach to the talks often ruffled feathers with his counterpart Michel Barnier, particularly his repeated references to the EU as “your organisation”.

The move means that Frost will take control of all policy related to UK EU relations from Michael Gove, and entrenches his position as one of the key players in Johnson’s government. Gove’s duties will focus almost exclusively on domestic UK policy.

Frost tweeted that he would “stand on the shoulders of giants and particularly those of Michael Gove who did an extraordinary job for this country in talks with EU over the past year.”

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