Yesterday Micheal Gove said “we are ready if required” to leave without a trade deal, but left room for talks to restart during an appearance on the BBC’s The Andrew Marr Show.
Asked if the door is still open to talks, he said: “It is ajar; we hope the EU will change their position, we’re certainly not saying that if they do change their position we can’t talk to them.”
Meanwhile, the UK’s five Anglican archbishops intervened to criticise the Government’s controversial new Brexit legislation as setting a “disastrous precedent” in a letter to the Financial Times ahead of a Lords debate.
Led by Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, they said the UK Internal Market Bill has “enormous moral, as well as political and legal, consequences” by paving the way for a breach of international law by overriding parts of the Withdrawal Agreement with Brussels.
Michael Gove also defended £7,000 day rates being paid to private sector consultants who are helping the Government to set up and run its testing system.
Last week, Sky News said it had seen documents revealing Boston Consulting Group (BCG) was paid about £10 million for around 40 consultants to provide four months’ work between the end of April and late August.
The broadcaster said the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) received a 10 to 15% discount from BCG, whose day rates for public sector work range from £2,400 to £7,360 for the most senior consultants.
Its report comes amid ongoing criticism of the Government’s £12 billion Test and Trace system.
Mr Gove admitted however that there is a need to reduce Government spend on consultants overall.
Asked whether the spend was a good use of public money, he said: “Yes.”
Hold all the cards
Returning to his appearance on the Marr Show, The most striking part of his interview was when Gove was shown his ‘we hold all the cards’ speech, about Brexit negotiations.
When the camera returns to the studio, Marr asks him if he is embarrassed seeing that back.
Straight faced, he replied…”No.”
If this was you would you be embarrassed?