Can’t help himself! Adonis takes parting swipe at Frost – Truss next in Brexit firing line

Brexit minister Lord Frost resigns from Cabinet

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The Labour peer regularly clashed with the former Brexit minister over his approach to negotiations with Brussels. A vehement defender of the EU he accused Lord Frost of a lack of respect for partners on the continent and of being unnecessarily antagonistic.

This morning he urged Ms Truss to undo the work done by her predecessor.

He said only by drastically changing tone would the UK’s relationship with the EU27 improve.

The peer said: “Liz Truss’s key task is to de-Frost our relations with the EU and start a pragmatic move back towards the single market and the customs union.

“Brexit didn’t work, won’t work and has to be progressively reversed for the good of the country.”

Ms Truss was charged with taking over responsibility for the UK’s future relationship with the EU last night.

Lord Frost resigned with “immediate effect” on Saturday night, having previously agreed with the Prime Minister he would leave his job in January.

He cited “the current direction of travel” of the Government, as well as fears over “coercive” Covid measures as reasons for his decision to go.

Ms Truss’s appointment means there will no longer be a dedicated Brexit minister, with the role instead being consumed as part of the Foreign Secretary brief.

It is also the first time in almost two years the person responsible for Brexit policy will be based in the House of Commons.

MPs have been unable to quiz the minister responsible for discussions directly, with Lord Frost not based in the primary chamber.

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The change in approach also ends the regular clashes with Lord Adonis, whose spiteful anti-Brexit attacks will no longer be hurled at the person responsible for talks.

Lord Adonis tweeted at the weekend: “Lord Frost has resigned because he knows his Brexit deal is disintegrating in deep crisis and he wants to get out before the whole fiasco and disaster of Brexit is pinned on him personally as Johnson’s factotum and lackey.”

However, the former Brexit minister rejected claims of a fallout with the Prime Minister on negotiating strategy.

This morning he insisted he “never disagreed in any way” with Boris Johnson about Brexit policy.

He added: “Right up to the last day we’ve been absolutely aligned on that, and Liz Truss and Chris Heaton-Harris I’m sure are going to do a great job.

“I left the Government because, as I think is well known, I couldn’t support certain policies – most recently on Covid restrictions and Plan B.

“And if you’re a minister you have to support collective responsibility, you have to support decisions of the Government, and I couldn’t, so that’s why I had to leave.”

Lord Frost said his resignation was “absolutely not about leadership”, telling Sky News: “I’m absolutely confident this country has a great future under Boris Johnson’s leadership if we can get the policies right.”

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