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Brexit: Michael Gove fails to name single change that ‘made business easier’

Michael Gove has not named a single change since Brexit that has “made business easier” as criticism of the economic damage from the trade deal grows.

The leading campaigner for leaving the EU has been asked six times to show how the promised “transformation of our economy” has been achieved – six years after the vote to leave.

Mr Gove pointed to Common Agricultural Policy reform and gene editing, as well as the UK’s freedom to “make our rivers cleaner, our air cleaner, our soil more resilient” as benefits of Brexit.

However, he was accused of not identifying any change that “made life easier for businesses by leaving the EU”. BBC Radio 4“If I was with the CBI, I might be tempted to say ‘is that all?’

A leading business group has faced punishable barriers preventing smooth trade with the EU from ending, which is projected to result in a 4% drop in GDP.

But Rishi Sunak, fearing attacks from right-wing Tories, has rejected calls for an easing of the terms of a trade deal for Christmas 2020 – or more short-term visas for needy workers.

On Radio 4Mr Gove, the promotion secretary, was asked: “How have you made life easier for companies by leaving the EU?”

He indicated that he had “got rid of the common agricultural policy” and that the UK “controls our own migration policy”, but was told: “That may be good in itself, but it doesn’t help business.”

Gove argued that removing EU agriculture rules would help the food industry – “our largest manufacturing sector” – even though it has been hit hardest by the new trade barriers.

“With gene editing going to be a significant economic development that will help us grow, we are now creating a legal framework that will allow companies in this field and life sciences to grow,” he said.

Today’s presenter Nick Robinson told Mr Gove: “If I were with the CBI, I might be tempted to say, ‘Is that all? This great transformation of our economy promised six years ago – and you say it’s the end of the CAP

Mr Gove is the second leading Brexit campaigner to fight to identify any economic gains, after David Davis admitted there were “no major” gains.

The former Brexit secretary has claimed that the UK started delivering Covid vaccines in 2020 before the rest of Europe – although it is strongly disputed that this was the freedom of Brexit.

A report that the UK would push for a “Swiss-style deal” threatened to reignite the Tories’ Brexit wars, even though the EU is unlikely to make such an offer.

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt said the “vast majority” of trade barriers between the channels could be removed without explaining how.

But Mr. Sunak insisted, “Let me be clear on this. Under my leadership, the UK will not seek any relationship with Europe based on alignment with EU law.”


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