In a pamphlet released in June 2016, Lord Frost claimed “it will be Britain that has to make concessions to get the deal” with Brussels. At the time, the peer was the chief executive of the Scotch Whisky Association but said he was writing in a “personal capacity”. The publication, entitled “Britain Votes Leave: What Happens Next”, was published by PR firm Portland Communications and featured writers such as Michael Gove and George Eustice, who are now cabinet ministers.
Lord Frost suggested Britain’s push for a series of new global trade agreements would mean the country would have to make climb downs.
He wrote: “Britain will be demandeur and so it will be Britain that has to make the concessions to get the deal.
“True, other countries will want deals too, but they won’t be under anything like the same time pressure and can afford to make us sweat.”
He added: “After leaving, the UK will have to renegotiate trading arrangements simultaneously with many major countries, including the EU, in a two-year window.
“There may not be goodwill.”
Lord Frost is now the Prime Minister’s EU sherpa, and one of the main architects of the Government’s bid to take back control of the UK’s laws, borders and waters from Brussels.
The self-confessed Brexiteer has refused to back down to any of Michel Barnier’s hardline demands to keep Britain tied to the bloc’s rules and regulations.
On Twitter last Sunday, he said: “We are working to get a deal, but the only one that’s possible is one that is compatible with our sovereignty and takes back control of our laws, our trade and our waters.
“That has been our consistent position from the start and I will not be changing it.”
And Mr Johnson has thrown his political weight behind his lead negotiator, insisting he will not cave in to Brussels demands to give up powers and access to the country’s coastal waters.
“Significant issues remain, particularly on the so-called level playing field and fisheries. We are working hard to find solutions which fully respect UK sovereignty, but it is far from certain that an agreement will prove possible and time is now very short.
“The PM said that, if we cannot find suitable compromises with our European friends, we will leave the transition period on Australia terms on January 1.
“The PM said he was incredibly confident that the UK will thrive with or without a free trade agreement with the EU.”