UK cannot return to EU social model after Brexit says Frost
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And one senior backbencher has admitted the decision represents a “serious blow” for the Government, while another compared it to a “leaking tap which could become a flood”. Details of the Brexit minister’s decision to quit emerged on Saturday, his resignation letter citing concerns over the Government’s “direction of travel”, particularly in relation to tighter coronavirus restrictions.
On Sunday, it was confirmed his Brexit brief has now been handed over to Foreign Secretary Liz Truss.
The loss of Lord Frost piled further pressure on Mr Johnson after the Tories’ disastrous loss in the North Shropshire by-election and the recent rebellion over vaccine passports.
Express.co.uk understands intense discussions are now taking place behind the scenes as Tories try to decide what happens next.
The Tory MP, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Express.co.uk: “This is a serious blow for the Government.
“David Frost was a highly competent Cabinet minister.
“It will be very hard to replace him and it is essential that he be replaced with the right sort of person who will continue his work.”
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Another Tory MP acknowledged: “It is damaging but not fatal.”
Nevertheless, they warned: “But it is like a drip drip drip of a leaking tap which if not fixed could become a flood.”
Their concerns echo those voiced publicly by Andrew Bridgen, Tory MP for North West Leicestershire, who issued an ominous message to Mr Johnson on Saturday.
He tweeted: “The Prime Minister is running out of time and out of friends to deliver on the promises and discipline of a true Conservative Government.
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“Lord Frost has made it clear, 100 Conservative backbenchers have made it clear, but most importantly so did the people of North Shropshire.”
Mr Bridgen also weighed in during discussion in a WhatsApp group of Tory MPs, branding the news a “disaster”, adding: “Lord Frost was concerned about the policy direction of the Gov.
“So are most of the Conservative backbenchers.”
Speaking to Times Radio, Tobias Ellwood, the Remain-backing Tory MP for Bournemouth East, said: “The question now is ‘Who replaces him?’
“Is he going to be replaced by someone who is just designed to perhaps appease a wing of the (Conservative) Party or is this actually a real opportunity to press the reset button with the EU?”
In his letter of resignation, Lord Frost said: “You know my concerns about the current direction of travel.
“I hope we will move as fast as possible to where we need to get to: a lightly regulated, low-tax, entrepreneurial economy, at the cutting edge of modern science and economic change.
“Three hundred years of history show that countries which take that route grow and prosper, and I am confident we will too.”
He added: “We also need to learn to live with Covid and I know that is your instinct too.
“You took a brave decision in July, against considerable opposition, to open up the country again.
“Sadly it did not prove to be irreversible, as I wished, and believe you did too.
“I hope we can get back on track soon and not be tempted by the kind of coercive measures we have seen elsewhere.”
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