Nortnern ireland

Bloc buster: David Frost on Brexit, Barnier and the backstop

In an eyrie at the top of the Cabinet Office sits David Frost, Boris Johnson’s former Brexit negotiator who is now the cabinet minister responsible for handling the European Union. His office has the genial feel of a don’s study — there’s a book of Anglo-Saxon verse on his table alongside one of Greek poetry — yet mention Frost’s name to even the most mild-mannered EU diplomats and they begin to fume. In an effort to understand the apparent mismatch, I ask Frost if he feels the need to be aggressive in negotiations. ‘I hope not,’ he replies. But he does admit that he did feel that way when he