THERE are about 750 million people in Europe, and it may be that only one of them truly understands Brexit. And we are really, like really, lucky that this man is David Frost.
Even Boris was a notorious flip—flopper on quitting the EU and Theresa May was about as staunch in the face of European bullying as Neville Chamberlain. But David Frost, almost from nowhere, is looking like the signing of the decade – a veritable Lionel Messi of the negotiating world. For he was remember, and remains, a political appointment, lured back to the Civil Service from the rather more clubbable world of Scotch whisky.
And while the Hampstead dinner party set quibble and bitch over Dominic Cummings Mr Frost, Lord Frost as he is now, may turn out to be Boris’s masterstroke.
What the 55-year-old has done (and what the common sense loving British people will love him for and the bureaucracy-obsessessed bullies in Brussels will hate him for) is to bring Brexit down to brass tacks.
It basically runs like this:
Barnier: Can we still have all your fish after Brexit?
Barnier: And will you promise not to use entrepreneurial innovation to compete with us after Brexit?
Barnier: And will you still kow-tow to the rules of our massive protectionist European monopoly after Brexit?
Barnier: And will you let us still tell you how to spend your money after Brexit?
It’s bloody marvellous stuff.
Just read what he told the Mail on Sunday and tell me it’s not the best thing any Whitehall adviser has said since 2016. Actually possibly ever.
He said: “The EU have not accepted that in key areas of our national life we want to be able to control our own laws and do things our way and use the freedoms that come after Brexit.
“We are not going to be a client state. We are not going to compromise on the fundamentals of having control over our own laws.
“We are not going to accept level playing field provisions that lock us in to the way the EU do things; we are not going to accept provisions that give them control over our money or the way we can organise things here in the UK and that should not be controversial – that’s what being an independent country is about, that’s what the British people voted for and that’s what will happen at the end of the year, come what may.”
Can someone make this man PM?
There’s a little over 100 words in those quotes but you may as well scrap the 600-page Withdrawal Agreement and just hand Michel Barnier those far more telling sentences … on the back of a fag packet if necessary.
What Frost has noticed too is Mr Barnier is locked into some sort of Stockholm syndrome (well, actually Brussels syndrome) and seems genuinely mentally incapable of accepting that Britain wants to, and is about to, leave the EU.
It just doesn’t compute in his EU-conditioned brain.
This is a dangerous and untenable position and he should now be removed – and replaced with someone who grasps the nature of the post-Brexit future.