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Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Michael Gove argued the EU had not ruled out blockades of trade routes in the UK. While speaking to the House of Lords’ European Union Committee, Mr Gove said the EU had not listed the UK as an individual country. He claimed this meant that the UK would still remain an extension of the EU and would not be able to trade freely as a third nation post-Brexit.
Lord Kerr said to Mr Gove: “Boris Johnson said in the House of Commons that the EU was holding out the possibility of blockading food and agricultural transports within our country.
“When and how did you detect that, what came to your attention?
“What did you do about it when it came to your attention, presumably you immediately contacted the joint committee co-chairman.”
Mr Gove went into details of the discovery why the UK was wary of the EU at this stage.
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He said: “I think it is a matter of public record that at the time the Prime Minister made the point the UK had not yet received third country listing.
“This was for the export of products of animal origin.
“That country listing exists for countries like Mongolia and other nations.”
Lord Kerr pressed Mr Gove for more of the details behind the revelation the EU were planning a blockade inside the United Kingdom.
He said: “What was the evidence for that?”
Mr Gove replied: “If it is the case the UK has not or will not be granted third country listing, that would mean that country could not export any food or products of animal origin at all to the European Union.
“It is not just a case that there would be checks, there would be no opportunity for us to export.”
Mr Gove also took aim at the European Union for their legal action against the UK following the Internal Market Bill passing through the House of Commons.
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He said: “The provisions in the bill are intended to be a safety net, to ensure that if there are areas that need to be addressed, that first of all the joint committee should address them.
“Then if no agreement can be reached by the joint committee, an arbitrary process of course kicks in.
“But we reserve the right, if the legislation is there, to ensure that the integrity of the United Kingdom is protected if no agreement has been reached.
“The EU made it clear that they would be launching their own proceedings.”
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