Brexit deal is provisional, says Minister

Voters will be able to change the terms of the country’s relationship with the EU after leaving the bloc if they don’t like the final deal: Michael Gove

Updated - December 09, 2017 10:44 pm IST

Published - December 09, 2017 10:41 pm IST - London

Michael Gove

Michael Gove

British voters will be able to change the terms of the country’s relationship with the European Union (EU) after leaving the bloc if they don’t like the final Brexit deal, senior Cabinet Minister and pro-Brexit lawmaker Michael Gove said on Saturday.

Britain and the EU achieved “sufficient progress” in Brexit negotiations on Friday to allow them to move on to discussing future trade ties, in a move welcomed by Mr. Gove and other Brexit supporters in Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservative Party.

However, while Mr. Gove, who is Britain’s Environment Minister, reiterated his support for Ms. May, he gave succour to critics of the deal by saying that if Britons were dissatisfied with the terms of Brexit, future governments could change it. “The British people will be in control. By the time of the next election, EU law and any new treaty with the EU will cease to have primacy or direct effect in U.K. law,” Mr. Gove wrote in a column in The Daily Telegraph .

'Future government allowed to diverge'

“If the British people dislike the arrangement that we have negotiated with the EU, the agreement will allow a future government to diverge.”

Britain is due to exit the EU in March 2019. The next election is not scheduled until 2022, though there has been speculation in British media that it could come earlier, given Ms. May’s lack of a parliamentary majority and deep divisions within her party about Brexit.

While agreement was eventually reached on Friday, Mr. Gove said that all U.K. proposals were provisional on a final deal being done, and even then, that arrangement could be revisited.

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