EU negotiator

Truss adds Brexit brief after Frost’s resignation

Liz Truss

Liz Truss: rising popularity

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss will add to her portfolio of roles by replacing Lord Frost as the UK’s lead negotiator with the EU in post-Brexit talks.

Ms Truss, who is also minister for women and equalities, will retain her duties at the Foreign Office. Among her new tasks will be negotiations on the Northern Ireland Protocol.

This follows the resignation on Saturday evening of Brexit Minister Lord Frost who told Prime Minister Boris Johnson he had concerns over government policies on Covid, taxation and net zero.

MP Chris Heaton-Harris will become minister of state for Europe, Downing Street said.

Ms Truss campaigned for Remain in the 2016 referendum but has recently proclaimed her Leave credentials by saying she would back Brexit were there to be another poll.

Handing her the brief will do no harm to her rising popularity within the party and possibility of replacing Boris Johnson in Downing Street. In a recent poll by Conservative Home she ranked No 1 in popularity in “satisfaction ratings”, ahead of the defence secretary, Ben Wallace, Lord Frost, Jacob Rees-Mogg and Rishi Sunak.

Lord Frost told the Prime Minister a week ago that he was leaving, but was talked into staying until mid-January.

The government’s Covid response is said to be the last straw amid growing discontent over other policies such as taxation and the soaring cost of net zero.

It is the latest setback for the Prime Minister following a series of Christmas party scandals, the Owen Paterson affair, a rebellion of backbench MPs and the crushing North Shropshire by-election defeat.

In a recent speech to the Centre for Policy Studies Lord Brexit said he believed in low taxation and no vaccine passports. He said : “We have not successfully rolled back the frontiers of the European Union from Britain with Brexit, only to import that European model after all this time.”

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