Attack on critics

Lord Frost: Brexit is working. We have no regrets

Lord Frost
Lord Frost: criticism ‘is generated by those with an axe to grind’

Former UK Government minister Lord Frost will tell a conference on Europe that “Brexit is working” and any view that it is damaging the UK economy “cannot be supported by any objective analysis of the figures”.

Lord Frost, who resigned from the Government in frustration over policy issues, will accuse anti-Brexiteers of having “an axe to grind” and the EU of being “difficult and confrontational”.

On the sixth anniversary of Britain’s departure from the EU on Thursday, he will deliver the keynote speech to the UK in a Changing Europe’s World Beyond Brexit conference attended by academics, politicians, diplomats and other experts.

Lord Frost, a former CEO of the Scotch Whisky Association, was chief negotiator with the EU and is now a senior fellow at Policy Exchange, and despite his resignation from the Cabinet he remains a staunch supporter of Brexit.

Against an onslaught of criticism over its negative impact on trade and labour availability, he will insist: “Brexit is working.  We have no cause for regrets about the decision the country has taken.  The solutions to the remaining problems are not to be found in going backwards, but in completing the process and following through on its logic.”

He will say that Brexit is fundamentally about democracy. 

“It’s about ensuring decisions for this country are taken in this country after proper debate.  That is now beginning to happen.

Anti-Brexit rally in Edinburgh
Campaigners claimed Brexit would be damaging (pic: Terry Murden)

“Although most of the hard work is done, Brexit is not complete yet and there are things still to do, most obviously in re-establishing arrangements in Northern Ireland which support the Belfast Good Friday Agreement.”

In comments that will be greeted with derision by some in industry, the SNP and other anti-Brexiteers, he will argue: “The view that Brexit is hitting us from an economic and trade perspective is generated by those with an axe to grind and cannot be supported by any objective analysis of the figures. 

“The UK has grown at much the same pace as other G7 countries since the referendum and, as the ONS points out, our goods exports to the EU are at the highest level ever.  

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“Brexit is not a thing in itself but a necessary gateway to a project of national renewal.  The Government needs to get on with defining and implementing that project.   

“And finally, does the EU want Brexit to work?  Can it rise above the current frictions and work with the UK as a trusted partner, or will it continue to hassle and lecture us?”

Lord Frost will note that if it wants a stronger relationship the EU will need to adjust its behaviour in Northern Ireland and more broadly.

“Through all this we have to take lectures about “trust” and “international law”, while at the same time the EU Court of Justice asserts its superiority over international arbitration rulings and the EU itself ignores WTO judgements when it suits them.”  

He will insist that an alternative, positive way forward still exists.

“It’s so important that we find resolution to the issues that divide the West. In my Churchill lecture in Zürich in March I set out areas where we could find, if you like, a new Entente Cordiale, with the EU being more open to change the Protocol, us being more willing to look at foreign policy collaboration with the EU, and some mutual de-escalation on various border and visa issues.

“That still seems a possible way forward to me – but it takes two.

“Our destiny is in our hands.  We can, and I hope will, succeed whatever the EU does – it will just be more difficult for all concerned if the EU insists on being difficult and confrontational rather than collaborative. 

“It would be much better to put the history behind us – on both sides – and concentrate on making this new relationship work.  There is absolutely no reason why that can’t happen. It just takes vision – it just takes will.”  

3 Comments to Lord Frost: Brexit is working. We have no regrets

  1. No evidence offered in Frost’s speech apparently. Certainly none offered up in this article.
    So I don’t see how this is news. Man makes speech shock!

  2. Brexiteer Rishi Sunak told a Select Committee that Brexit was making us poorer as UK goods exports have fallen. While the UK saw a fall, the global average was a rise of 8.2 per cent (FT report). One third of small exporters have stopped exporting. Brexiteer Rees-Mogg says that introducing necessary import checks, necessary because of the Brexit he campaigned for, would be an act of self-harm. The Resolution Foundation tells us that Brexit has reduced the UK’s competitiveness and openness to trade. This will reduce productivity and wages. LSE research reveals that Brexit has caused a six percent increase in food prices due to greater trade barriers on imports (and let’s not forget inflation caused by the fall in the pound after Brexit, from which it has never recovered). Adam Posen, a former Bank of England policymaker, has shown that most of the reason why the UK will see the highest inflation of any G7 country next year (IMF) is due to the impact of Brexit on immigration and the labour market.

    The government refused to disclose any Brexit damage assessment, which means that it was bad. And here’s Frost going into denial mode with a message that Brexit is working and if it isn’t then it’s the fault of Remainers You know, those people who warned of the consequences.

    The level of delusion by the Tories is breath-taking.

    • ‘ because of the Brexit he campaigned for, would be an act of self-harm’

      I don’t know why you are still repeating remain lies but if you bother to check ONS figures you will see you are wrong

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