EM – Britain’s Brexit minister resigns as new COVID rules spark anger


Brexit Minister David Frost said in a letter to Johnson that he would resign immediately after a newspaper reported that he intended to leave the post next month.

Published: December 19, 2021 1:13 PM |

Last updated: December 19, 2021 1:13 PM

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LONDON: A senior member of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s cabinet resigned Saturday night, adding to the sense of disorder within a government that has faced the rebellion of its own lawmakers and voters this week.

Brexit Minister David Frost said in a letter to Johnson that he would resign immediately after a newspaper reported that he intended to leave the post next month.

Frost said the process of leaving the EU be a long-term task. “That’s why we agreed earlier this month that I would move on in January and hand over the baton to others to manage our future relations with the EU,” he said in his resignation letter.

The mail on Sunday said earlier that he had resigned because of growing disaffection with Johnson’s policies. The newspaper said Frost’s decision was triggered by the introduction of new pandemic restrictions last week, including requiring people to show proof of vaccination or a negative coronavirus test to enter nightclubs and other crowded venues.

And in In his resignation letter, Frost said Britain “must learn to live with Covid.” … In July, against considerable opposition, you made the courageous decision to reopen the country. Unfortunately, it didn’t turn out to be irreversible as I wanted it to be, and I believe you did, too. I hope we can get back on track soon and not be tempted by coercive measures we’ve seen elsewhere. ”

The news follows a staggering defeat for Johnson’s Conservative Party in a by-election on Thursday in North Shropshire , a longstanding party stronghold. Earlier this week, 99 Conservative MPs voted against so-called vaccination passes, the biggest rebellion in Johnson’s 2 1/2 years as prime minister. Angela Rayner, deputy leader of the opposition Labor Party, said Johnson was not up to the job since the Omicron variant is driving an increase in coronavirus infections.

“A government in total chaos, especially when the country has a few uncertain weeks ahead,” tweeted Rayner. “We deserve better than that buffoon.”

“The prime minister has no time and no friends to deliver on the promises and discipline of real Conservative government,” tweeted Conservative lawmaker Andrew Bridgen. “Lord Frost made it clear, 100 Conservative legislators made it clear, but most of all the people of North Shropshire did too.” renegotiate Britain’s exit from the bloc.

His resignation comes after Britain recently softened its stance in talks with the EU on post-Brexit trade rules for Northern Ireland. The change of tone from Britain came as a surprise to many as it contradicted the tough position of the Brexit Minister, nicknamed “Frosty the No Man”.

Johnson’s government is also under fire over reports that officials last year Held Christmas parties when pandemic rules prohibited such gatherings.

In addition to his problems with the so-called Partygate scandal, Johnson’s decision to investigate the allegations had to step back after he was also tied to such parties.

Simon Case , the head of the public service, stepped back from the investigation after Guido Fawkes’ website reported on Friday that his department hosted two parties in December 2020.

The scandal broke out when a video surfaced showing the a mock press conference showed some of Johnson’s employees appearing to take lightly a party that violated the pandemic rules . Up until that point, the Prime Minister had steadfastly denied that government officials had broken the lockdown rules.

The Times of London reported Saturday that one of Case’s department, the cabinet office, was listed on digital calendars as a “Christmas Party!” and was organized by a member of the case team.

The cabinet office announced on Friday that the event was a virtual quiz that a small number of people who had worked together in the same office took from their desks .

“The cabinet secretary played no role in the event, but went through the team’s office on the way to his own office,” read a statement from the office. “No external guests or other employees were invited or present. This lasted for an hour and drinks and snacks were purchased from those present. He also spoke briefly to the staff in the office before leaving. ”

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