Boris Johnson’s top Brexit negotiator David Frost gave a major speech at ULB Brussels University on Monday evening where he set out the British government’s plans for a UK-EU trade deal. This is an edited transcript of his speech:
Thank you much everyone for that very kind introduction. It is a really huge pleasure to be here at your university. I would like to say thank you also to the Institute for hosting me, and your distinguished President, Ramona Coman, for being kind enough to host me here tonight. Your institute here has really made a huge contribution to the study of European politics and European integration – and long may that continue.
My aim tonight is to try to explain a bit better why people like me think as we do – how we see the world and why we think Britain is better off out of the European Union.
And I want also to give you a bit of insight about how that might influence the British positioning in the negotiation that are to come.
Let us go back once again in history, though this time not quite so far as to Charles the Bold. Instead, to the title of my lecture: Reflections on the Revolutions in Europe.
So in 1790 Edmund Burke, one of my country’s great political philosophers, wrote a pamphlet that is justly famous, in the UK, in any case, called ‘Reflections on the Revolution in France’. And my title echoes that tonight. It is not just history, that work is highly relevant today and indeed lots of modern British conservative politicians who would consider themselves to be intellectual heirs of Burke.
Tonight I want to give you some reflections on the revolutions, plural, in Europe – because I actually think we are looking at not one revolution but two revolutions, both in government and simultaneously.