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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.

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Feb 19th, 2021 at 12:20:38 AM EST

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