Great Britain

'We do NOT need your permission' Michael Gove savages Brussels in Brexit trade threat

The Tory frontbencher stressed on the importance of the future of the UK as a free and independent nation post-Brexit, ready to take back control on its borders and waters. Mr Gove argued Britain exceeds the EU on many issues of environmental concerns and social progress, stressing the UK "does not need the EU's permission" to be a liberal country in Europe. He said: “The United Kingdom has a proud record when it comes to environmental, workers rights, and social protection.

“In a number of key areas, we either exceed EU standards or have led the way to improved standards.

“On workers rights, for example, the UK offers a year of maternity leave with the option to convert this to parental leave so that both parents can share care.

“The EU minimum is just 14 weeks. And on environmental standards, we are the first country in the world to introduce legally binding greenhouse gas emission reduction targets through the climate change act.

“We were also the first major economy to set out a legally binding target to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions across the economy by 2050.

READ MORE: Brexit LIVE: Michael Gove ready to leave EU in June this year

brexit news michael gove uk eu trade talks fishing statement

Brexit news: Michael Gove stresses UK does not need the EU to be ahead on environmental standards (Image: UK PARLIAMENT)

“We will not dilute any existing protections.”

He added: “We do not need the EU’s permission to be a liberal nation leading the world in the fight against climate change and social progress.”

Mr Gove added that the UK will seek "to emulate and build on the types of relationship that the EU already has with other independent sovereign states" and that by using already existing precedents, the UK "should be able to expedite agreement".

Mr Gove said that the Government "will require a wholly separate agreement on fisheries".

"We will take back control of our waters as an independent coastal state and we will not link access to our waters to access to EU markets.

"Our fishing waters are our sovereign resource and we want to determine other countries' access to our resources on our terms," he told MPs.

He added: "We also hope to conclude an agreement on law enforcement and judicial cooperation in criminal matters so that we can work with the EU to protect their citizens and ours from shared threats.

"But we will not allow our own legal order to be compromised and by taking back full control of our borders, we can implement measures to make the British people even safer and we can tackle terrorism and organised crime even more effectively."

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With trade talks between the UK and the EU set to begin on Monday, Boris Johnson faces a race against time to get an agreement signed before the end of the transition period in December 2020, which he is refusing to extend.

The European Union has demanded the UK continues to allow fleets from inside the bloc access to British waters in order to strike a post-Brexit free trade deal.

The EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier warned after European ministers agreed to red lines for the negotiations in a meeting on Tuesday that fishing rights must be included in the deal or there “won’t be any agreement at all”.