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UK chief negotiator will stay on for Brexit talks: PM's spokesman

FILE PHOTO: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Europe adviser David Frost leaves the European Commission headquarters after a meeting with officials in Brussels, Belgium, October 7, 2019. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - David Frost, Britain’s chief negotiator with the European Union, will complete the Brexit talks even if he takes up his new position as National Security Adviser (NSA) before they have finished, Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s spokesman said on Monday.

Frost’s appointment as the new NSA was announced on Sunday, when Britain’s most senior civil servant said he was stepping down from both his roles after reports of clashes with Johnson’s top political adviser.

“He is taking up his role around the end of August ... and there’ll be a short transition period so if there is a small overlap with the Brexit negotiations that is possible. David has said he will of course remain chief negotiator while the talks are being concluded one way or another,” the spokesman said.

“We have been very clear with the EU that the talks need to be concluded sooner rather than later ... We need to make sure businesses can prepare properly for what will happen at the end of the year. If the negotiations go on too long, into the autumn, then they will not know what to prepare for.”

Reporting by Elizabeth Piper; editing by Stephen Addison