Remainers from all three parties, plus business leaders and ex-civil servants met in secret to agree a plan for Britain to rejoin the European Union.
Lord Frost last night warned of a plot to undermine Brexit after leading Remainers held a secret summit on how they could undo the democratic vote.
The Tory peer said the gathering of prominent politicians, business chiefs and ex-civil servants showed a will to unravel the deal he helped negotiate with Brussels. Among those who attended the clandestine meeting were: Labour’s Shadow Foreign Secretary David Lammy, ex-Tory European minister David Lidington, Theresa May’s Brexit negotiator Olly Robbins, and Sadiq Khan who tabled a plan to rejoin the EU’s single market.
Former EU commissioner Lord Mandelson opened one of the sessions at the event which was also attended by Michael Gove, who had claimed to be a leave supporter to the public.
The clandestine event was held at Ditchley Park, an historic estate near Chipping Norton in Oxfordshire, a venue that has been used for other treacherous plans in the past. Outcomes are said will be used to lobby Rishi Sunak or any future Labour administration for 'closer ties' with Brussels, with rejoining the single market and free movement top of the list.
Senior Labour figures such as London Mayor Sadiq Khan have called for the UK to rejoin the EU’s single market. Lord Frost, who was chief negotiator for the withdrawal agreement that took effect three years ago, said: "This secret conference is a further piece of evidence that many in our political and business establishment want to unravel the deals we did to exit the EU in 2020 and to stay shadowing the EU instead."
"That’s why so many of those responsible for Theresa May’s failed backstop deal were there, while I and those who actually delivered the Brexit agreements were not. Brexit doesn’t need “fixing”. It needs this Conservative Government, elected with a huge mandate on a Brexit programme, to fully and enthusiastically embrace its advantages instead of leaving the field to those who never wanted it in the first place. I and millions of others want the Government to get on with that instead of raising taxes, deterring investment and pushing public spending to its highest level for 70 years."
David Jones, deputy chairman of the European Research Group of Tory MPs, added: ‘The fact that such a meeting was held in conditions of such secrecy must give rise to suspicions as to its purpose.
And in another warning sign for Downing Street, Nigel Farage – whose Reform UK party is trying to lure Tory MPs defectors and has already won over a number of Conservative councillors – wrote online: ‘The full sell-out of Brexit is under way. This Tory party never believed in it.’
No reference was made of the two-day event on Ditchley Park’s website even though many of its other conferences are described in detail, and none of the attendees mentioned it on social media.