Northamptonshire MP Chris Heaton-Harris back in key Brexit role following government promotion

Political pundits tipping Daventry member to be key man in negotiations with EU

By Kevin Nicholls
Wednesday, 22nd December 2021, 12:52 pm

Foreign secretary Liz Truss says she is "looking forward" to working with Chris Heaton-Harris following the Northamptonshire MPs promotion.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson named the fierce Eurosceptic as his new Minister of State for Europe following the resignation of Lord Frost.

A government announcement said he will "deputise for the foreign secretary as necessary on EU Exit and the Protocol" although many political pundits expect him to the be the one now leading negotiations.

Sign up to our daily Daventry Express Today newsletter

Daventry MP will be working alongside foreign secretary Liz Truss following his government promotion

Ms Truss was handed the task of tackling the EU over the Northern Ireland Protocol after Lord Frost quit as Brexit Minister citing his concerns over the government's handling of the Covid crisis, saying he hoped the PM would "not be tempted" by "coercive measures" to tackle the virus.

She tweeted: "It's great welcoming Chris Heaton-Harris to the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office and I look forward to working with him on Russia and on UK-EU relationship.

"Together we will stand firm for British interests and defend and advance freedom and democracy."

The Protocol was designed to prevent checks along the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland after Brexit.

But it has sparked major rows between with the EU over trade between Great Britain and Northern Ireland since it came into force.

Mr Heaton-Harris, who lives in Pitsford with his family, is a former chair of the pro-Brexit European Research Group and has held the safe Tory seat of Daventry since 2010 following ten years as a member of the European Parliament. His majority at the 2019 General Election was 26,080.

He rebelled against the Tories under David Cameron's leadership in support of an early referendum on Britain's EU membership and quit as Brexit minister in Theresa May's government in 2019 in protest at delays in leaving the EU.

He became rail minister in the Department of Transport a few months later, where one of his last tasks was to announce a 3.8 percent fare rise for next April.