Otago Daily Times

Bri­tain pre­pared for no­deal Brexit: Gove

- Business · Brexit · European Politics · UK News · Politics · Infectious Diseases · British Politics · Health Conditions · United Kingdom · London · Michael Gove · European Union · The Sunday Times · Boris Johnson · Australia · Confederation of British Industry · World Trade Organization · British Retail Consortium · Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders · Gove Peninsula

LONDON: Michael Gove, the min­is­ter han­dling Brexit di­vorce is­sues for Bri­tain, said yes­ter­day the UK was ‘‘in­creas­ingly well pre­pared’’ for a no­deal Brexit even as busi­nesses urged Bri­tain and the Euro­pean Union to find a com­pro­mise over trade terms.

A tu­mul­tuous ‘‘no deal’’ fi­nale to the United King­dom’s five­year Brexit cri­sis would sow chaos through the del­i­cate sup­ply chains that stretch across Bri­tain, the EU and be­yond — just as the eco­nomic hit from the coro­n­avirus pan­demic wors­ens.

‘‘It is not my pre­ferred des­ti­na­tion,’’ Gove said in an opin­ion piece in the Sun­day Times news­pa­per.

‘‘But if the choice is be­tween ar­range­ments that tie our hands in­def­i­nitely, or where we can shape our own fu­ture, then that’s no choice at all and leav­ing on Aus­tralian terms is an out­come for which we are in­creas­ingly well pre­pared.’’

Prime Min­is­ter Boris John­son said on Satur­day Bri­tain should get ready for a deal with the Euro­pean Union sim­i­lar to the one Aus­tralia has, ‘‘based on sim­ple prin­ci­ples of global free trade.’’

A so­called ‘‘Aus­tralia deal’’ means the United King­dom would trade on World Trade Or­ga­ni­za­tion terms: for a coun­try with­out an EU trade agree­ment, like Aus­tralia, tar­iffs would be im­posed un­der WTO rules, likely to cause sig­nif­i­cant price rises.

John­son’s crit­ics say an Aus­tralian­style deal is sim­ply code for no deal at all with Bri­tain’s largest ex­port mar­ket.

More than 70 Bri­tish busi­ness groups rep­re­sent­ing over 7 mil­lion work­ers made a last­ditch at­tempt yes­ter­day to per­suade politi­cians to get back to the ne­go­ti­at­ing ta­ble this week and strike a Brexit deal.

The groups ranged from the Con­fed­er­a­tion of Bri­tish In­dus­try, TheCi­tyUK and techUK to the Na­tional Farm­ers’ Union, Bri­tish Re­tail Con­sor­tium and the So­ci­ety of Mo­tor Man­u­fac­tur­ers and Traders.

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Michael Gove

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