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Lord Frost to join Cabinet in UK-EU trade role

David Frost with John Swinney

Lord Frost during his time at the SWA in talks with John Swinney (pic: Terry Murden)

Lord Frost, the UK’s Brexit trade negotiator, is to join the Cabinet as a trade minister and will play a continuing role in developing the UK-EU relationship.

The former chief executive of the Scotch Whisky Association will become a minister at the Cabinet Office and full member of the Cabinet next month,.

He had been due to become the UK’s new national security adviser earlier this month, but was replaced days before he was due to start.

He will report to Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove whom he will replace as UK chairman of a separate committee in charge of implementing the Brexit divorce agreement.

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Mr Gove will retain his seat at the cabinet table, continuing to hold the title Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster.

He has been given the task of tackling the post-Covid backlog in public services, including the courts, the NHS, schools and universities.

Lord (David) Frost said Mr Gove did an “extraordinary job for this country” in talks with the EU over the past year.

Lord Frost will head talks with the EU over border tensions in Northern Ireland.

Under the treaty, which came into effect in February 2020, Northern Ireland remained part of the EU’s single market for goods.

It has led to difficulties for businesses at the border in Northern Ireland due to increased paperwork and customs rules.

David Frost replaced Gavin Hewitt as CEO at the SWA in January 2014.  He was a career diplomat by profession and had held various senior roles in the FCO, including as British Ambassador to Denmark, and in the then Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).

He left the SWA in 2016 to become special adviser to Boris Johnson when he was Foreign Secretary and has remained a close adviser to Mr Johnson ever since.

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