MICHAEL GOVE has hit out at the EU’s refusal to compromise, insisting that their demands for fishing rights are unacceptable, and claiming the responsibility for a Brexit deal lies with Brussels.
Michael Gove denied that Brexit trade talks were close to collapse, but admitted there were “fundamental differences” between the EU and UK moving forward. Mr Gove singled out fisheries this morning, as the cabinet office minister criticised the EU’s plot to gain control over Britain’s fishing waters even after Brexit. This comes as the latest round of talks between the EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier and Britain’s negotiator David Frost ended in disarray.
Britain insisted Brussels must tear up its current “ideological approach” if a deal is to be done.
Mr Frost even reportedly told cabinet officials that the trade talks were heading for collapse.
However, speaking to Andrew Marr, Mr Gove said the negotiations were going “well but with one provision”.
Mr Gove told the BBC that issues such as fisheries and the so-called “level playing field” rules to ensure fair competition remained huge sticking points.
He explained: “Theres a fundamental philosophical difference still.
“The European Commission want us to follow the rules even though we have left the club.
“And the European Commission want to have the same access to our fish as they had when we were inside the EU even though we are out.
“The challenge for the EU is to show some of their fabled flexibility.”
He had earlier told Sky News that the EU “want to have access to our fish even though we’ve left”.
The Chancellor of the Duchy said: “We can’t do a deal on those terms but I am confident that a deal is there to be done.
“It just requires a degree of flexibility on the EU side which I’m sure that they will appreciate they need to show.”
Earlier this week, Mr Gove had warned the EU that there was a “serious risk” of a Brexit deal collapse following a bitter row over citizens’ rights.
Mr Gove has complained to Brussels that the rights of UK nationals living in the bloc are not being protected.
This follows a report from a think tank that warned an extension to the Brexit transition could cost £378bn as UK increases panning for a no deal.
The figure comes from a report by the the Centre for Brexit Policy, who also conducted a poll that revealed almost half of Britons believe extending the transition period would trap the country in the EU for the foreseeable future.