Brexit minister warns against ‘coercive’ Covid measures in resignation letter

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UK Brexit Minister David Frost resigned on Saturday, warning against imposing new Covid-related restrictions. He said he had to step down prematurely after his plans were leaked to the media.

The resignation was first reported by the Mail on Sunday, which wrote about Frost’s growing disillusionment with the government’s economic policies in recent months.

In his farewell letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Frost said he initially planned to step down in January to ensure a smooth transition, but decided to resign immediately after his upcoming departure was leaked to the press. “It is disappointing that this plan has become public,” Frost said.

“Brexit is now secure,” and he and Johnson “have always shared the same approach” to it, he said. At the same time, Frost expressed frustration over the government bringing back pandemic-related restrictions.

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.

In his response letter, Johnson thanked Frost for his “relentless hard work, resolve and vision” during the contentious talks with the EU. The prime minister noted that, under Frost’s watch, the UK completed its exit from the bloc and signed a trade deal with Brussels.

Frost’s departure comes at a difficult time for Johnson’s cabinet. The prime minister is facing an internal revolt of nearly 100 Conservative MPs who voted against the government’s plan on new Covid restrictions this week. Johnson has also been criticized for several Christmastime gatherings by government officials last year, which reportedly broke lockdown rules.  

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