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EU hang out to dry! Barnier under fire for hailing bloc after ‘long page turned’ by Frost

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The former Eurocrat couldn’t resist taking a dig at Boris Johnson’s embattled Government. He claimed that, since the Brexit Secretary’s departure, “a long page has been turned”.

The EU’s former chief Brexit negotiator added: “He never convinced me of any added value from Brexit, neither for the UK nor for us.

“I will, however, remember a clever minister, convinced of his idea of sovereignty, with whom we agreed the NI (Northern Ireland) Protocol in 2019 and a barebones trade and cooperation agreement in 2020.

“I think he always underestimated the unity of Europeans, our attachment to the single market and the mandate I had from EU’s leaders.”

The outspoken politician – who is currently campaigning to replace Emmanuel Macron as French President at next year’s election – was quickly slammed by Brexiteers.

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It emerged on Saturday night Lord Frost, an ally of the Prime Minister, was stepping aside after allegedly becoming “disillusioned” with the Government’s “current direction of travel”.

This reportedly included disagreements over its Covid policy, Mr Johnson’s net-zero pledges and the raising of taxes in the latest budget.

It came just days after more than 100 Tory MPs rebelled against the Government to oppose Mr Johnson’s latest Covid curbs.

And, in another blow to Mr Johnson’s authority, he had to battle off warnings from scientists today about the looming threat of the Omicron Covid variant in an apparent attempt to appease a large number of anti-lockdown MPs in his party.

Speaking this evening, Mr Johnson said that, while there would be no immediate change to restrictions, he said the Government reserves the “possibility of taking further action” if the data made it clear that further intervention was necessary.

The Prime Minister admitted that the arguments for taking action in the face of the spread of Omicron were “very, very finely balanced”.

He added: “Unfortunately I must say to people that we will have to reserve the possibility of taking further action to protect the public, to protect public health, to protect our NHS.”



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