Uk News With 'Brexit' friends like Lord Frost, Boris Johnson doesn't need enemies United Kingdom news
PremierLeague-News.Com - Peer urges the PM to stop making 'factually incorrect statements'. With friends like these, who needs enemies?
PremierLeague-News.Com - Breaking Sport Transfer News ! “It is as if we have forgotten how to govern.” That was the withering assessment today of David Frost, the former UK chief Brexit negotiator, as he set out why it was taking so long to feel the benefits of quitting the EU. The ostensible target in Lord Frost’s sights was Britain’s “policy elites” of the civil service, think tanks and corporate groups. Yet it was clear that the peer was also directing his criticism at the man who had in many ways made him: Boris Johnson. Delivering a speech to mark the sixth anniversary of the historic Leave vote in 2016, Frost insisted that “Brexit is working” even if much of the establishment in the UK, let alone in the EU, had yet to catch up with its full impact. Echoing Jacob Rees-Mogg yesterday, Frost said that for him Brexit was never primarily about economics or prosperity and was more about restoring sovereignty. “Brexit is about democracy… In Britain we can now change everything by elections. In EU countries many things can’t be changed by elections, especially if a country is in the Euro – trade policy, monetary policy, much of fiscal policy, employment policy, much of environmental policy, and so on.” Unlike Rees-Mogg, he conceded it was better to be “honest” about the economic “trade-offs” involved in leaving the EU instead of “pretending nothing is going on”. “I don’t think it’s reasonable to say, as some pro-Brexit people do, ‘nothing to see here in the figures, don’t bother looking at them, it really is not important’,” he said. Frost even said it was “reasonable” to assess that the UK’s goods exports are around five per cent lower than what they would have been if it had remained in the EU. However, before any Remainer should get carried away, he quickly added that he didn’t think that would have “any measurable impact on our GDP, one way or the other”. That particular remark stood in stark contrast to a verdict he gave in 2015 when his pre-Brexity incarnation sounded remarkably Remainy. Back then when he was chief executive of the Scotch Whisky Association, Frost told the Scottish Parliament European and External Relations Committee something very different. And it’s worth quoting in full. “When we get to the referendum, I hope it’s a real debate about everything that Europe offers,” Frost said. “I would add the Single Market and single trade policy. Although estimates vary about how much wealth the single market generates for the UK, since we joined it’s probably in the order of five, six, seven, eight per cent uplift to GDP. For someone on an average salary, that’s about £1,500 pounds a year. Most people think that’s worth having.” Of course, just as Boris Johnson famously wrote two Daily Telegraph Brexit articles (one Leave, one Remain), it seems that Frost subsequently had a Damascene conversion to the cause of quitting the EU. Given his previous remarks, it’s a good job he’s now saying his conviction was based on the UK taking back control of its destiny rather than getting more prosperous.
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. As well as complaining that there was not enough supply side reform to free up the economy, he expressed frustration that the PM told untruths like his claim that there were more people in employment now than pre-pandemic. “I wish he would not say things like that which are obviously not true, making factually incorrect statements,” Frost said. “But in the end it’s for the Prime Minister’s own party and MPs to decide: is that how they want to do things, or is it not?” That reluctance to support Johnson will be no surprise to many on the Right of the Tory party, for whom Frost is their latest hero. When he quit his post last year as Brexit minister, he warned the PM he had “concerns about the current direction of travel” of the Government in areas like Covid lockdowns and higher taxes. He also privately felt No 10 was undermining his attempts to get tough with Brussels. Not everyone is a fan, admittedly. A senior Tory MP told me recently how appalled they were at Frost’s disloyalty. “Boris plucked him from obscurity in the civil service to make him Brexit negotiator. He gave him a peerage. He made him a minister. And the ingrate now goes around sledging him,” they said. Still, Frost, who has made no secret that he hopes to become a Tory MP, has built a following among Brexiteers who loved his “Frosty the ‘No’ man” image in his dealings with Brussels. Many of those backbenchers are fed up of the PM’s incompetence and toxicity among the voters. Even some of the more charitable among MPs on the Right compare him to anti-colonial liberation movement leaders who end up proving to be very poor administrators once they end up in power. And when asked directly today if Johnson was the man to make the most of Brexit’s opportunities, there was a chill wind in the peer’s reply. “I don’t think he has got to grips with the problems so far. I hope he will in the next two or three months.” That timeframe chimed with those rebel MPs who are plotting for another vote of confidence in September or October. Asked if he was confident the PM would get a grip, Frost said: “Er, let’s see what happens.” Johnson is famously a man who likes to say “yes” to the voters. But the frostiness of the “no” men in his party is sounding ominous.
Source = PremierLeague-News.Com