By Karim El-Bar
LONDON (AA) - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Sunday appointed Foreign Secretary Liz Truss to take on Lord Frost’s responsibilities as lead Brexit negotiator, according to a statement by 10 Downing Street.
The statement said: “Liz Truss will take over Ministerial responsibility for the UK’s relationship with the European Union with immediate effect.
“She will become the UK’s co-chair of the Partnership Council and the Joint Committee, and will lead the ongoing negotiations to resolve the problems arising from the current operation of the Northern Ireland Protocol.”
The Northern Ireland Protocol was agreed between the UK and EU to prevent a hard border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, but is fiercely opposed by both Northern Irish unionists and hardline Brexiteers within the ruling Conservative Party as it has placed a de facto border in the Irish Sea between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
Meanwhile, the statement added that Chris Heaton-Harris, another Conservative MP, will become minister of state for Europe and “will deputise for the Foreign Secretary as necessary on EU Exit and the Protocol.”
Lord Frost resigned on Saturday as the UK’s chief Brexit negotiator in dramatic fashion over the latest round of COVID-19 restrictions.
In his resignation letter to Johnson, Frost said: "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."