There is now a “smoother glidepath” towards a post-Brexit trade deal with the EU after the government ditched plans that could have seen the UK breach international law, Michael Gove has told Sky News.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is heading to Brussels this afternoon in a last-ditch bid to make a breakthrough in trade negotiations with the EU, before the end of the Brexit transition period on 31 December.
Cabinet Office minister Mr Gove suggested the prime minister’s task could be made easier following Tuesday’s announcement of an agreement on the implementation of the UK’s divorce deal with the EU, including on post-Brexit arrangements for the Irish border.
As a result of that agreement, the government said it would scrap highly-controversial parts of its Internal Market Bill, which would have given ministers the power to override the Withdrawal Agreement.
Mr Gove told Sky News’ Niall Paterson: “Throughout this year there have been intense talks between ourselves and the European Commission in order to make sure we can resolve the issues on what’s called the Northern Ireland Protocol.
“Of course people wanted to make sure there’s no border infrastructure at the Northern Ireland-Ireland border, but also that Northern Ireland can be a secure part of the UK.
“We’ve agreed that and, as a result, some of the measures we were putting forward – which some in Europe had criticised – we no longer need to introduce those.
“That means there is a smoother glidepath to a possible deal.”
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