David Frost has demanded that all devolved nations inform him of any contact with the European Union in a move that has been branded “clumsy control-freakery”.
In his letter, Cabinet Secretary David Frost, who (as The National reports) has never won a democratic election, stressed that he had “overall control” of the UK’s “relationship with the EU”, a position he was elevated to after being made a life peer by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
The top Tory’s letter was sent to the governments in Edinburgh, Cardiff, and Belfast, as well as the Chief Ministers of Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man.
It warns these various administrations against having any contact with the EU without informing Westminster of its “content”, something Frost claims will help the UK conduct its “international affairs” effectively.
Good thread here. Astonishing that we have an unelected & unaccountable Bureaucrat (sitting as a Minister in the Lords) trying to tell elected Ministers accountable to devolved administrations what they can and can’t do. https://t.co/fiWRBjw2P3— Stephen Gethins (@StephenGethins) May 29, 2021
Reacting to the letter, Kirsty Hughes, the founder and director of the Scottish Centre on European Relations, said Frost’s real aim was to “inhibit” Scotland’s attempt to create links to other nations post-Brexit for fear it would build the case for independence.
In a Twitter thread, she wrote: “UK Government wants to inhibit Scottish Government from doing its best to build positive European and international relations despite Brexit.
“Ironically, this clumsy control-freakery is likely simply to increase understanding and appreciation of Scotland internationally.”