Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Boris Johnson has appointed his Chief Brexit Negotiator, David Frost, to the Cabinet in charge of ongoing UK/EU relations. He is one of the last hold-outs of the Vote Leave faction to retain power in No. 10 after the sacking of Cummings and Cain.

Frost's new role to harden UK's approach to its EU commitments

He will replace Gove as co-chair of the UK-EU Partnership Committee that governs the implementation of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement and of the joint committee overseeing the implementation of the Northern Ireland protocol. Despite his occasionally overheated rhetoric, Gove has for the most part taken a conciliatory approach to his role in the joint committee, seeking to turn down the temperature in recent days after attempting to exploit the EU's embarrassment over its article 16 debacle to win concessions.

Frost's style is more confrontational and he, along with Lewis, championed last year's British threat to break international law by reneging on the protocol in the internal market Bill. The EU's member states have made clear that they have no appetite for renegotiating the protocol or granting sweeping waivers, so there could be trouble ahead when Frost takes over those negotiations.

Each week that passes reveals a fresh deficiency in the Trade and Cooperation Agreement Frost negotiated with the EU, as one sector after another wakes up to its devastating consequences for their business. Frost is unlikely to admit that his deal left large parts of the British economy exposed to greater costs and higher bureaucratic hurdles in doing business with Europe and he is ideologically unable to agree to the kind of alignment of rules that could overcome some of the problems.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Feb 19th, 2021 at 12:20:38 AM EST
See my diary with Brussels context of equivalence UK-EU negotiations: Frost Bite ... etc. 🇬🇧 🇪🇺
by Oui on Fri Feb 19th, 2021 at 03:17:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Anthony Robinson at YorkshireBylines [Frost's cabinet role is a slap in the face for the British people] has some useful comments on the significance and consequences of the appointment.

Frost's appointment is not to negotiate future improvements but to ensure there are none. He is not likely to ask for any and, with him as their point of contact, the EU are likewise unlikely to offer any.

The following quip particularly appealed.

Johnson's choice of Brexit minister is full of irony, since the PM sent Frost to Brussels essentially to put an end to rule by unelected bureaucrats. Frost is not only an unelected bureaucrat himself, but now an unelected member of the Cabinet. We wait to learn who will answer EU questions in the Commons, since it can't be Frost. It does not look like an attractive job to me.


.... responsibility for EU relations will in future be spread across three Whitehall departments in what looks like a recipe for confusion and endless turf wars.

It is difficult to believe that the appointment of this abrasive individual is intended to promote "Cooperation" within the TCA nor harmonious relations with our "friends" as Johnson insists on calling other nations.

by oldremainmer48 on Fri Feb 19th, 2021 at 10:53:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"Lord Frost will also succeed Michael Gove as the UK chairman of the EU-UK Partnership Council, but report directly to the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster."

I assume Gove will be answering EU questions in the Commons.

by Oui on Fri Feb 19th, 2021 at 11:43:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]


Occasional Series