On Wednesday, this blog argued that the exit of Lee Cain might be the prelude to Johnson signing up to a Surrender Deal with the EU, (be it by accepting the EU’s terms behind a mendacious smoke screen of ‘success’ or by some subterfuge which in substance postpones Brexit). It also questioned how long it might be before other hard line Brexiters, especially Cummings and Frost, left the No.10 team. Now Cummings has gone. That leaves Frost out on a limb. Unsupported in No.10 by Cummings and Cain, he may find himself instructed to do ‘a deal at any price’. Given his public commitment to ‘sovereignty’ there must be a question about his willingness to execute such an instruction if and when it comes. If Frost goes, the PM may have little alternative but to appoint a ‘neutral’ senior civil servant to take the lead in completing the arrangements given that the political toxicity of the task would make the job both unsuitable for and deeply unattractive to a ‘political’ appointee.
Published by Peter G Harris
Peter G Harris is a barrister and was a senior civil servant responsible for advising ministers in the UK on policy and legislation for reforming the civil law and civil justice system. He is now based at Exeter College in the University of Oxford where he teaches and continues to think about the law as an instrument of public policy. View all posts by Peter G Harris