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Ministers working to be ready for no-deal Brexit: Gove

By Gavin Cordon

Cabinet minister Michael Gove has said the Government is doing "everything possible" to ensure the UK is ready to leave the EU at the end of October "come what may".

Mr Gove, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster in charge of no-deal preparations, said he was confident the country's food system would be able to cope if the UK was unable to strike a new agreement with the EU.

His intervention came amid warnings that business did not have time to prepare for a no-deal break on October 31 with port delays and a lack of warehouse space for essential foods.

The Food and Drink Federation disclosed it had asked the Government to set aside elements of competition law to allow firms to work together to co-ordinate and direct supplies.

Mr Gove said ministers were constantly talking to industry and suppliers about what measures were needed.

However, he acknowledged it would require the co-operation of EU countries like France if trade was to continue to flow smoothly after a no-deal Brexit.

"In the event of no deal, of course the EU has its obligations, but we are doing everything possible in order to make sure that we are ready come what may to leave on October 31 and to honour the instruction of the British people," he said.

"I'm confident, because the UK has a very resilient food supply system, that actually we will be able to make sure that people have a wide range and all the choice that they need.

"But of course, we're constantly talking to supermarkets, food distributors and others to see what more the Government can do to help," he added.

Belfast Telegraph


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