Brexit: David Frost warns of plot to unravel deal

Brexit: David Frost warns of plot to unravel deal
David Frost

The former head of the UK’s Brexit negotiating team, David Frost has urged ministers to “fully and enthusiastically embrace the advantages of Brexit,” portraying a private gathering of prominent former leave and remain campaigners to talk about how to move past Brexit in the national interest as a plot to undo the agreement he reached with the EU.

Michael Gove, a government minister and a former co-leader of the official Brexit campaign, together with key figures from Keir Starmer’s shadow cabinet, attended the two-day conference, which was made public by the Observer on Sunday.

They participated in a conversation with the following title, which was attended by diplomats, defence specialists, and the heads of some significant corporations: “How can we make Brexit work better with our neighbours in Europe?”

It was seen as “another piece of proof” by David Frost on Monday that “many in our political and business establishment want to unravel the accords we did to quit the EU in 2020 and to stay shadowing the EU instead.”

He attempted to explain why prominent Brexit advocates and previous remain supporters were both present at the meeting by telling the Daily Mail:  “That’s why so many of those responsible for Theresa May’s failed backstop deal were there, while I and those who actually delivered the Brexit agreements were not.”

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According to a confidential opening statement made public by The Observer, “some at least” now believe that the UK has not yet found its path outside of the EU, with Brexit “serving as a drag on our growth and restricting the UK’s potential.”

According to a witness, it was a “constructive meeting” that discussed the benefits and challenges of Brexit but focused primarily on the negative effects on the UK economy at a time of increased oil prices and global unpredictability.

But Lord Frost said: “Brexit doesn’t need ‘fixing’. It needs this Conservative government, elected with a huge mandate on a Brexit programme, to fully and enthusiastically embrace its advantages instead of leaving the field to those who never wanted it in the first place.

“I and millions of others want the government to get on with that instead of raising taxes, deterring investment and pushing public spending to its highest level for 70 years.”

His remarks follow a reaffirmation by the UK and EU of their commitment to “joint solutions” to disagreements on the post-Brexit Northern Ireland protocol. There is growing suspicion that an agreement to eliminate economic barriers between Great Britain and Northern Ireland is finally in the works.