LONDON (AP) — The negotiator who led Britain’s divorce talks with the European Union has been given the job of leading the U.K’s relations with the bloc.
The British government said Wednesday that David Frost was appointed to Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Cabinet as a minister of state for the Cabinet Office. Frost’s job, which starts March 1, will be to lead relations with the EU and “help drive through changes to maximize the opportunities of Brexit,” the government said.
He is also due to lead Britain’s side of a joint U.K.-EU joint committee overseeing the Brexit agreement, which has already hit bumpy waters over the special status of Northern Ireland.
Frost, a former chief executive of the Scotch Whisky Association, is not an elected politician, but Johnson appointed him to Parliament’s unelected House of Lords.
Frost and his team spent months in difficult negotiations with an EU team led by Michel Barnier over the rules governing Britain’s trade relations with the 27-nation bloc after the U.K. withdrew from the bloc a little more than a year ago.
The trade deal reached in December establishes tariff- and quota-free exchange of goods but sets up customs checks and other obstacles to the previously seamless commerce between Britain and the bloc.