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Britain will have enough food after Brexit, government says

Britain will have enough food after Brexit, government says
Copyright REUTERS
Copyright REUTERS
By Alastair JamiesonReuters
Published on Updated
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''Everyone will have the food they need" after Brexit, said government minister Michael Gove.


A senior British minister has refused to rule out ignoring any emergency laws passed to postpone Brexit.

Opposition parties, including Labour and rebel members of the ruling Conservative Party, are planning to pass a law forcing the government to reach a withdrawal agreement with the European Union or seek an extension to the October 31 deadline.

Asked on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show if the government would abide by the legislation if passed, Michael Gove said: “Let's see what the legislation says."

Marr went on: "Surely the answer has to be 'yes'? It's the law."

Gove responded: “I will wait to see what legislation the opposition may try to bring forward but we know what their intention is.”

Keir Starmer, Labour's shadow Brexit secretary, said Gove's comments were ''breathtaking,'' adding: ''No government is above the law.''

Enough food

Gove also said he did not think there would be any shortage of fresh food in the event of a no-deal, though he admitted there might be price rises.

Last month, leaked government documents said Britain will face shortages of fuel, food and medicine if it leaves the EU without a transition deal. That interpretation was immediately contested by ministers, who said the forecast was the worst-case scenario.

''Everyone will have the food they need,” Gove said.

However, the British Retail Consortium later said it was untrue to suggest there would be no disruption to grocery supplies in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

It comes after tens of thousands of people in London and other cities protested against Prime Minister Boris Johnson's decision to suspend parliament for about a month.

His critics say the suspension, known as a prorogation, is unusually long and describe the move as a thinly veiled attempt to reduce the time that lawmakers will have to debate Brexit before the October 31 deadline.

The issue is expected to dominate debate when parliament convenes on Tuesday after a lengthy summer recess.

Johnson's rebels

David Gauke, a former British justice secretary and a member of Johnson's Conservative party, said he would meet the PM on Monday to hear his plan to deliver a Brexit deal he could support.

But Gauke said he was prepared to disobey Conservative discipline and be expelled by the party if he was not persuaded.


"Sometimes there is a point where you have to judge between your own personal interests and the national interest, and the national interest has to come first," he told Sky News. "But I hope it doesn't come to that."

Sky News reported later on Sunday, however, that Johnson cancelled the meeting with Gauke because of a 'diary clash".

Former finance minister Philip Hammond was also reported to be willing to support opposition efforts to prevent a no-deal Brexit. 

Johnson has said that those backing the opposition to no-deal risked there being no Brexit at all.

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