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Gove won't say if legislation to stop no-deal Brexit would be recognised

Michael Gove appears on The Andrew Marr Show yesterday
Michael Gove appears on The Andrew Marr Show yesterday

By Shaun Connolly

Cabinet heavyweight Michael Gove has refused to confirm the Government would abide by legislation blocking a no-deal Brexit if it is forced through by Tory rebels and the opposition this week.

The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster also said some food prices would rise in the event of withdrawal from the EU without an agreement with Brussels.

Pressed repeatedly on whether the Government would abide by a successful bid by Commons opponents to pass legislation preventing a no-deal withdrawal on October 31, Mr Gove told BBC One's The Andrew Marr Show: "Let's see what the legislation says.

"You're asking me about a pig in a poke. And I will wait to see what legislation the Opposition may try to bring forward."

Mr Gove added: "For me, the most important thing is to bear in mind actually, we already have legislation in place which an overwhelming majority of MPs voted for. We already have an EU Withdrawal Act, we already have the notice on Article 50, the process by which we leave the EU."

The comments come ahead of another pivotal week in the Commons and an expected clash when opponents of no-deal look set to try to seize control of the parliamentary agenda to push through legislation delaying Brexit beyond October 31.

Shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer said Mr Gove's stance was "breathtaking".

He tweeted: "For ministers not to confirm that this Government will accept and comply with legislation lawfully passed is breathtaking.

"The Prime Minister must make a statement on this straightaway. No Government is above the law."

Tory MP Guto Bebb said Mr Gove's comments were "a disgrace to our democracy". The former minister added: "This Government's unprecedented willingness to flout the rules is a disgrace to our democracy.

"Not only are they suspending Parliament to try to force through a disastrous no-deal but now they are suggesting that even if Parliament passed a law requiring the Government to avoid no-deal, they might simply ignore it."

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