Michal Gove to give Holyrood evidence on Brexit as trade talks resume

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Tom Gordon Tom Gordon

Political editor

As the UK and EU negotiators continue their work in Brussels, MSPS will ask Michael Gove today about the state of the Brexit trade talks.

The Minister of the Cabinet Office and the leading supporter of leaving the EU are due to present evidence this afternoon to the European and International Affairs Committee of Holyrood, along with some of its Brexit officials.

The SNP referred to Gove as a “leader of the anti-independence campaign” and explained why Northern Ireland remains close to the single market of the EU, while Scotland is now facing a hard or no-deal Brexit.

“Michael Gove has the perfect opportunity today to explain why his Tory colleagues have been adamant that neither Scotland nor Northern Ireland should get a special deal, even though Northern Ireland should now have, in his own words, the ‘best of both worlds’ and Scotland, which voted overwhelmingly to remain in the EU, should not.”Today, Michael Gove has the perfect opportunity to explain why his Tory colleagues have been adamant that neither Scotland nor Northern Ireland should get a special deal, even though, in his own words, Northern Ireland should now have the ‘best of both worlds’ and Scotland, which has overwhelmingly voted not to remain in the EU.

On Sunday, Boris Johnson and EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen decided to ‘go the extra mile’ before the Brexit transition phase ends this month to find a trade agreement.

The prime minister said the most possible result was no agreement, which would push the U.K. Trade with the EU, which accounts for 43% of the U.K. Last year, exports went up under WTO terms that involve high tariffs on products

In the EU’s eyes, there are still disagreements about fisheries, governance and how to keep the UK from straying too far from potential rules and regulations.

Yesterday, Ms. von der Leyen said there was “movement” in the talks. A source from the British government, however, said the talks remain “difficult” and no substantial progress has been made in recent days.

The House of Lords dismissed the government last night over the UK Single Market Bill, which seeks to harmonize post-Brexit trade within the United Kingdom.

Critics say it will enable the United Kingdom to By allowing England set potential regulatory requirements and requiring Scotland and Wales to follow suit, the government will trample devolution.

MPs voted 332 to 229 to allow deviations from the rules through so-called common frameworks, a majority of 103.

“I expect the government to facilitate the process by which an agreed decision to derogate… can be protected from the sharp edges of the principles of the single market,” said Independent crossbencher Lord Hope of Craighead, the former Lord President.

“I don’t think that will in any way disrupt the functioning of the single market,” he said.

“In fact, there are benefits in allowing devolved administrations to develop their ideas in a way that is consistent with the single market by using that process and the possibility of divergence that it allows.”

Kirsten Oswald, deputy leader of the SNP at Westminster, called the bill “outrageous,” adding, “The Lords agree with us that this attack on devolution must be stopped.”

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