Comment by mail on Sunday: Lord Frost is a true patriot. His passing would be a severe blow
Clearly more sorrowful than in anger, one of the most prominent members of the government has resigned. This isn’t one of those exhilarating resignations as an ambitious minister shuts down the door of Downing Street on his way out and hopes his work will eventually lead to him taking the top job.
On the contrary, this resignation was done tactfully and discreetly, with the aim of improving rather than harming the government, giving the prime minister time to prepare before it is published.
For Lord Frost, the Brexit minister, he is the opposite of any professional politician. An outstanding diplomat with a long record of skillful negotiating, he has given his talents to Boris Johnson in the hope of successfully delivering Brexit and for the good of this country.
He is a serious and substantial figure, a true patriot who believes in Britain. It will be a huge blow when he goes.
Comment by mail on Sunday: Lord Frost, Brexit minister, is the opposite of any professional politician. He is an outstanding diplomat with a long track record of skillful negotiating who has lent his talents to Boris Johnson in the hopes of getting Brexit done successfully and for the good of this country.
He transformed the Brexit talks, symbolizing a new, unapologetic and frankly patriotic approach by having our negotiating team wear the union flag badges.
His approach was so different from the weak and defeatist attitudes of many of Britain’s previous contacts with the European Union that Brussels recognized that it was dealing with serious adversaries, with a resolute determination to defend ourselves.
He demonstrated equal purpose and principle in addressing the subsequent European Union’s desire to punish us for leaving. Surely the rest were embarrassed to find that it was their beloved “Europe” that adopted a silly, spiteful and short-sighted stance on Brexit, while Britain was an adult in the negotiating room. Lord Frost, as expected, responded to this behavior with maturity and authority.
But his passing has nothing to do with the ongoing problems with sorting out the details of our new relationship with the continent, rather it has more to do with the Prime Minister’s conduct of the Covid crisis.
With his usual acute realization, Lord Frost decided he was tired of the European government’s growing approach to the pandemic.
Comment by mail on Sunday: Lord Frost’s departure is not about the continuing problems of sorting out the details of our new relationship with the continent, but more about the Prime Minister’s conduct in the Covid crisis
Lord Frost was among the strongest voices in the Cabinet in favor of keeping the country open and avoiding more legislative checks on the disease. It is believed that he objected in principle to the idea of ”vaccine passports”. He is also believed to have been disappointed by the recent recourse to regulations.
This is all part of his more general disappointment with the general direction of government policy in recent months – particularly regarding tax increases and an environment-driven preoccupation with a “net-zero” goal of carbon dioxide emissions.
This view is intertwined with his public statements, as it contrasts with the high tax economic model of European-style spending recently espoused by the finance minister. Lord Frost believes that such a policy, whatever the excuse for it, is unlikely to yield the benefits of Brexit. These are serious objections from a serious man.
Boris Johnson, who understands well the value of characters like Lord Frost, needs to pay attention to what he says, soon. The Covid crisis has caused the government to stray far from the principles on which it was decisively elected. And while it is easy to read many of the poor results of the by-election, it would be highly unwise for Johnson to brush aside North Shropshire’s defeat.
Because he failed to achieve what his supporters wanted, they are now ready to turn their votes elsewhere. For now, protests of this kind are only a warning, with Lord Frost’s departure a warning.
But if these danger signals go unheeded next year, the government will face an even more serious defection and its future could be in real danger.