He is confident that a post-Brexit trade agreement can be achieved, MICHAEL Gove has said.
“I personally remain hopeful that we will reach an agreement.”Personally, I remain hopeful we will reach an agreement.
He said, however, that there are still serious problems and that the U.K. The “for all eventualities.” needs to be prepared.
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During a hearing before the Culture, Tourism, Europe and Foreign Affairs Committee of Holyrood, Gove made his remarks.
By the end of the Brexit transition period on Dec. 31, British and EU officials are seeking to negotiate on an agreement.
Joan McAlpine, Chair of the Committee, asked Gove if there was any change and how possible it was that by Christmas an agreement could be reached.
He said, “It’s difficult to give a real-time update from the negotiations. We have to respect the sanctity of the process.”
He said negotiators operated in a “necessarily fast-moving and fluid environment.” on both sides.
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Gove said that disagreements over fisheries, governance and a fair playing field also existed.
“He added: “I remain optimistic, personally, that we will reach a settlement.
“But as the prime minister and also EU leaders have stressed, we need to be prepared for all eventualities.”
Asked about the probability of a contract, he said, “In the past, I have placed percentages on it, but I have always regretted doing that.”
“I don’t think I’ll repeat the error on this occasion.
“As I said, I’m optimistic, but I think it’s important that we all recognize that there are still significant issues to bridge.”