Former Permanent International Trade Secretary: May's Brexit Plan "Better Than No Deal".

Elias Hubbard
July 8, 2018

Michael Gove has urged Tory MPs to back a compromise Brexit plan as the best chance of a "proper" exit from the EU.

He added: 'I am a realist, you should not make the flawless the enemy of the good.

Among the luxurious setting of Chequers, they also discussed no deal options and how to communicate the UK's position to the world.

He said they have made a balanced decision which gives Britain more control.

Her strategy pushes to keep Britain inside a free-trade area for goods with the EU, while also committing to ending the free movement of people and the supremacy of the European court.

Cabinet ministers including foreign secretary Boris Johnson, environment secretary Michael Gove, Brexit secretary David Davis and worldwide trade secretary Liam Fox were among the heavy-hitters drilling down on May's 120-page document today. This would allow Britain to set its own import tariffs and seal new free trade deals.

The proposal would allow free movement of goods, but not of services.

Asked if Mrs May's offer was all he had hoped for, he replied: "No, but then I'm a realist and one of the things about politics is you mustn't, you shouldn't, make the ideal the enemy of the good".

"That is not something that this country voted for, it is not what the prime minister promised", he told BBC radio.

A "joint institutional framework" would interpret UK-EU agreements, but UK courts would have to show "due regard paid to EU case law" on goods harmonisation rules.

After ministers signed up to the deal on Friday night, Mrs May said the time for them to air their concerns in public was over and collective cabinet responsibility had been re-instated - a stance endorsed by Mr Gove. She refused to rule out offering European Union citizens some form of special status as part of a proposed new "mobility framework".

Environment Minister Michael Gove, a key ally of Johnson in the European Union referendum campaign in 2016, defended the plan on Sunday, saying it honoured May's negotiating red lines and met the demands of business even if it did not match all the hopes of some anti-EU campaigners.

Paul Sweeney, Scottish Labour MP, said the deal agreed by the United Kingdom cabinet "falls far short of what Labour's six tests have been throughout this process".

It claims the Prime Minister's Brexit promises appeared to be "a pretence and a charade meant to dupe the electorate" and concludes that "in the interests of our country and the future of the Conservative Party, I feel the time has come for a new leader".

For now, May, who has been written off by critics regularly since losing her Conservative Party's parliamentary majority in an ill-judged election past year, will be buoyed by the hard-won agreement. "If she sticks with this deal, I have no confidence in it".

"As a result, we avoid friction in terms of trade, which protects jobs and livelihoods, as well as meeting our commitments in Northern Ireland", she said, referring to the understanding that there should be no border between the Irish Republic, which remains part of the European Union, and Northern Ireland, which pulls out with the rest of the UK.

"This has got fudge written all over it", he told Andrew Marr. Yes, the PM avoided the resignations that could have torn her Government apart and sparked a leadership challenge, a move that would in turn have triggered demands for another snap general election. "It is going to unravel and she will have to think again".

The EU's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said he was looking forward to the publication of the white paper and the EU would consider whether the proposals are "workable and realistic".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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