Michael Goves updates MPs on Brexit negotiations
16 June 2020
The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster made a statement to the House to update MPs on the progress of Brexit negotiations, with 31 December 2020 being the deadline for the transition period.
Michael Gove: "we are looking to get things done in July"
Michael Gove, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster updated the House on Brexit negotiations.
He told the House that yesterday the Prime Minister met with the President of the European Council, the President of the European Commission and the President of the European Parliament via video call.
The purpose of the meeting was "to take stock of progress on the negotiations and to agree actions to move forward", with all parties agreeing that "now is the moment to accelerate the pace of these negotiations".
The three Presidents "welcomed the Prime Minister's call for greater pace, focus and flexibility in the negotiations, and the tempo of the talks process has now been escalated".
Starting on 29 June, chief negotiators and their teams will "intensify talks" to agree on principles to reach an agreement.
He said Brexit meetings will take place weekly in July.
The Prime Minister said "the fastest we can do this the better".
Michael said that "we are looking to get things done in July. We don't want to see this process going on into the Autumn, and then the Winter."
He said that in a meeting with the Withdrawal Agreement Joint Committee on the 12 June, he "set out our plans to implement the protocol for Ireland and Northern Ireland and updated the EU on our ongoing work to protect the rights of EU citizens in the UK".
"I also sought assurance for our part, that the EU intend to meet its obligations under the Withdrawal Agreement around the protection of the rights of our nationals currently living in the EU.", Mr Gove said.
He said "following the fourth round of negotiations, it is still the case that there has been insufficient movement on the most difficult areas where difficulties of principle still remain."
He said the Government is committed to securing "a comprehensive free-trade agreement with the EU" and that they are "ready to be flexible" to secure a free-trade agreement "that works for both sides."
He went on to say:
"We did not vote in June 2016 to leave the EU but still to be run by the EU.
"We cannot agree to a deal that gives the EU Court of Justice a role in our future relationship.
"We cannot agree to EU's demand that we stick to the status quo on their access to British fishing waters."
Mr Gove concluded:
"The call from Opposition politicians to extend the transition period is not in the national interest".
Rachel Reeves: Leaving under WTO terms would be a "calamity"
Rachel Reeves, Shadow Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster responded to the statement saying "both the UK and the EU confirmed that there is not going to be an extension of our negotiations beyond the end of this year".
She said that Michael Gove "knows full well what a calamity leaving only on just World Trade Organisation's (WTO) terms would be to our country".
Farmers fear lack of legal safe guards from cheap imports, with lower environmental and animal welfare standards, as well as small farmers being hardest hit by the barriers and trading under WTO terms.
The automative industry have warned that "their entire business is not sustainable in the event of WTO tariffs".
She asked about:
- "no tariffs, fees and quantitative restrictions" promised in the Government manifesto
- exports to the EU after Brexit
- the Brexit deal safeguarding workers rights, consumer and environmental protections
- security partnership with the EU
- the Good Friday agreement effects on business
- full guidance to British businesses
- the negotiation period.
Image: Parliamentary Copyright
Find out more
- Watch Parliament TV: Statement on Brexit negotiations
- Transcripts of proceedings in the House of Commons Chamber are available in Hansard online three hours after they happen.