David Frost declared most important UK figure in Brexit negotiations – ‘Right man for job’

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Express.co.uk asked readers which British figure has been the most significant in Brexit talks with Brussels. A huge 84 percent of respondents chose Boris Johnson’s current Europe adviser.

Former Brexit Secretary David Davis and his replacement Dominic Raab, who is now Foreign Secretary, came joint second with three percent each.

Stephen Barclay, who was the third and final Brexit Secretary, and ex-Brexit minister Steve Baker were both backed by one percent of respondents.

Theresa May’s Europe adviser Olly Robbins received zero percent of votes.

Some five percent replied other and two percent did not know.

Commenting on the poll, one reader said: “After the disgraceful way our politicians handled our vote to Leave the EU for over three years – thankfully now, at long last, we seem to have the right man for the job in David Frost…”

Another wrote: “David Frost without question…. a masterstroke appointment akin to that of Dominic Cummings. Boris knows how to pick his staff.”

A third commented: “Clearly Boris has been the most important person in these negotiations.

“It was Boris that employed Frost and gave him his negotiating mandate.”

Another said: “Johnson, Cummings and Frost working as a team. Frost stands out because of his very capable skills at negotiations.”

But a fifth added: “Without Nigel Farage there would have been NOTHING !!!!”

The UK is in a transition period with the EU until the end of the year as the two sides negotiate a free trade deal.

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Little progress was made in the latest round of post-Brexit talks, which have been taking place remotely due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Key stumbling blocks include fishing arrangements and the EU’s call for a level playing field on standards.

The EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier offered an extension to the transition period in a letter to the Westminster leaders of the SNP, Lib Dems, Plaid Cymru, SDLP, Green Party and Alliance Party earlier this week.

The group had written to Mr Barnier on May 15 demanding for a two-year extension to be agreed between the UK and the EU.

But Mr Frost has ruled out pushing back the December 31 2020 deadline.

He told the Commons Committee on the Future Relationship with the European Union on Wednesday: “That is the firm policy of the Government, that we will not extend the transition period and if asked we would not agree to it.”

Earlier this month, the Prime Minister’s Europe adviser criticised the EU’s approach to negotiations in a letter to Mr Barnier.

He said the UK found it “perplexing” that the EU was continuing to make “unbalanced, and unprecedented” demands but argued “rapid” progress could be made if the bloc was willing to offer terms similar to those found in free trade agreements it had already struck with third countries such as Canada and Japan.

Mr Frost said: “Overall, at this moment in negotiations, what is on offer is not a fair free trade relationship between close economic partners, but a relatively low-quality trade agreement coming with unprecedented EU oversight of our laws and institutions. It does not have to be like this.

“I remain convinced that it would be very straightforward for us to agree a modern and high-quality FTA and other separate agreements, like those you have agreed with other close partners around the world, and that we could do so quickly. “

His EU counterpart responded by hitting out at the “tone” of Mr Frost.

Express.co.uk polled 5,761 people on May 28.

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