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UPDATE 1-UK's Gove says Britain 'well prepared' for a no-deal Brexit - Sunday Times

Sun, 18th Oct 2020 01:54

(Adds details from Gove's piece, background on
"Australian-style deal")

Oct 18 (Reuters) - Michael Gove, the minister handling
Brexit divorce issues for Britain, said on Sunday that the UK is
"increasingly well-prepared" for a no-deal Brexit.

"It is not my preferred destination," Gove said in an
opinion piece in the Sunday Times newspaper https://bit.ly/3lXXGbm.

"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 Friday that 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 so-called "Australia deal" means that the United Kingdom
would trade on World Trade Organization terms: as a country
without an EU trade agreement, like Australia, tariffs would be
imposed under WTO rules, likely causing significant price rises.

Johnson's critics say that an Australian-style deal is
simply code for no deal at all with Britain's largest export
market. Australia's trade with the EU is dwarfed by Britain's.

Gove has previously said that while the British government
wanted an agreement with Brussels, it was not going be "held
hostage".

"It will require a fundamental change in attitude, policy
and politics from the EU to get things back on track," Gove
wrote in the Sunday Times.

"As things stand, that (free trade agreement with EU) will
not happen, and the EU's decisions at last week's summit have,
in effect, ended those trade talks", he added.
(Reporting by Kanishka Singh; Editing by Daniel Wallis and
Sonya Hepinstall)

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