Brexit: Frost has 'certain set of priorities' says Ruparel
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The Brexit-supporting Peer, who led negotiations for the EU trade deal secured at the end of last year, has been been given a key role overseeing ongoing negotiations with the European Union. Theresa May’s former Europe Advisor Raoul Ruparel has said that Lord Frost is the right man for the job having sat opposite EU negotiators and knowing the Brexit deal “better than anyone”. Mr Ruparel has insisted the Minister will go into discussions with the EU with “a certain set of priorities” for protecting Britain’s sovereignty.
Mr Ruparel told Channel 5 News: “We talked about the trust, and the experience and the history of this.
“Obviously having someone who was so closely involved, who negotiated the agreement means that that history is much more at the forefront.
“You know David will have his own sort of experience and his own views coloured by what has happened over the past year or two.
“So that maybe makes it harder to get distant from that but equally he knows that agreement better than anyone else.”
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Mr Ruparel continued: “So it means he will be across it and ontop of all the issues.
“I think that’s obviously important for the UK side in keeping continuity and making sure that the approach continues to fit with the approach they took in the negotiation.
“So it is not surprising I think that he has taken on that role, and is going to continue being responsible for it.
“I think obviously he has made clear throughout the past year or two that he has a particular strategy and approach to the EU in the negotiations, and he has a certain set of priorities and so obviously that his going to continue to colour the approach as well and you know the priorities will continue to be sovereignty and making sure we are not tied into the EU in any way.”
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It comes as Lord Frost rejected suggestions the lower trade levels are a permanent feature of Brexit, saying a “unique combination of factors made it inevitable that we would see some unusual figures this January”.
He said: “As well as changes to our trading relationship with the EU, we also saw evidence of stockpiling late last year – as the ONS notes.
“This meant less need to move goods in January.
“Covid lockdowns across Europe are bringing reduced demand for goods overall.”
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The minister added he expected to see a large uptick in trade in the next set of figures the ONS release as trade begins to return to normal.
“The latest information indicates that overall freight volumes between the UK and the EU have been back to their normal levels for over a month now, ie since the start of February,” he said.
“We are supporting firms through this period.
“Many businesses have made the changes needed to trade effectively with the EU, but we are focused on providing active and extensive support to others who need to adapt.”
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