Brexit: Boris Johnson praises work of negotiator David Frost
Lindsay Croisdale-Appleby – an influential member of the team that clinched the UK-EU future relationship pact – is set to be unveiled in the role later this week. The British diplomat was one of Lord Frost’s deputy chief negotiators, overseeing talks on the overarching structure of the final trade agreement. Mr Croisdale-Appleby spent almost four years working as the Foreign Office’s Director-General in charge of the UK’s divorce from the EU.
His expected promotion comes after Sir Tim Barrow, the UK’s former ambassador to the EU, returned to London to become a political director at the newly merged Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.
British sources say Mr Croisdale-Appleby was first touted for the role in the summer but a final decision wasn’t made until after wrangling over the UK-EU trade and security deal was wrapped up on Christmas Eve.
An official announcement is expected to be made by the “end of the week”, according to sources.
Lindsay Croisdale-Appleby, one of Lord Frost’s Brexit negotiators, will be named top diplomat in EU
Insiders added his role would be influential in shaping the country’s new image as “global Britain” now we are free to secure trade deals across the globe.
A Government spokesman refused to comment on the reports but added: “We will make announcements on diplomatic appointments in the usual way, through official channels.”
During the intensive talks with Brussels, Mr Croisdale-Appleby became known as a hardened negotiator who would often call out hypocritical demands by Eurocrats.
Lindsay Croisdale-Appleby pictured to the left of Lord Frost during Brexit trade talks in Brussels
The diplomat was renowned for his “robust exchanges” with European counterparts as the agreement was hammered out in just nine months.
He was said to be influential in forcing EU negotiators to drop their demands for a “one-sided agreement” that would allow the bloc to freely punish Britain for diverging from Bussels’ rulebook.
Mr Croisdale-Appleby is a 25-year veteran of the Foreign Office, having previously worked extensively on UK-EU relations and as ambassador to Colombia between 2013 and 2015.
Lord Frost, Boris Johnson and Sir Tim Barrow, the UK’s former EU ambassador
He was awarded the Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George in the 2020 New Year Honours for services to British foreign policy.
Political analysts believe his new role will be crucial in influencing future EU rule changes to protect UK trade interests.
Georgina Wright, an associate at the Institute for Government think-tank said: “The UK’s new ambassador to the EU will be responsible for informing ministers about the EU’s latest twists and turns – especially if they think that these will have bearings on the UK’s interests.
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“But the importance of this post goes further still: with many EU rules continuing to apply in Northern Ireland, and given the volume of trade between the UK and the EU, it will also be in the UK’s interest to try and influence those rules as much as possible.
“That will be a much harder task now the UK is outside of the EU so getting the right man or woman in Brussels will be key.”