Former Brexit negotiator Frost promoted to PM Johnson’s cabinet

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LONDON (Reuters) – Prime Minister Boris Johnson has given David Frost, the man who led Britain’s Brexit negotiations, a job in his top team of ministers to advise on the relationship with the European Union, the prime minister’s office said on Wednesday.

David Frost served as Johnson’s chief Brexit negotiator, both for the initial deal which took Britain out of the EU on January 31 2020 and for negotiations on a trade deal, which replaced a transition period at the end of the year.

The government had previously indicated that Frost would continue to advise the government on matters relating to the EU, but his appointment to Johnson’s cabinet of top ministers was not expected.

His appointment will take effect from March 1, Johnson’s Downing Street office said in a statement.

Frost is a member of parliament’s unelected House of Lords.

He paid tribute to Michael Gove, the senior minister who previously led the implementation the EU exit agreement and free trade deal.

Frost will take over from Gove as UK Chair of the Withdrawal Agreement Joint Committee. This means he takes on the responsibility for negotiating with Brussels to make the complex parts of the trade deal relating to Northern Ireland work smoothly.

“I am hugely honoured to have been appointed Minister to take forward our relationship with the EU after Brexit,” Frost said on Twitter.

“In doing so I stand on the shoulders of giants & particularly those of @michaelgove who did an extraordinary job for this country in talks with EU over the past year.”

Reporting by Alistair Smout; Editing by Hugh Lawson and William James

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