06:25 GMT22 October 2020
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    Britain’s Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove has stated parts of the UK’s controversial internal market bill would remain despite EU requests to remove them. Gove has assured colleagues in London and his European counterparts in Brussels that he is still "committed" to reaching a deal on the UK's future relationship with the EU.

    Looking at these moves in greater detail, Sputnik spoke to the Political Commentator Mandy Boylett, in this interview.

    Sputnik: What are your thoughts on this move? Is Michael Gove right to ignore the EU's request to remove parts of the internal market bill?

    Mandy Boylett: I think it's a difficult one. It was a shame that one of the cabinet ministers said that they would be breaking the law in a limited and specific way because it was also part of the withdrawal agreement that the EU would make their best attempts to offer us a free trade deal, in which case, we wouldn't have needed to look at the Northern Ireland border, it wouldn't have mattered.

    But you can't have a situation where you're treating two parts of the UK differently. If the EU had negotiated in good faith, given us the Canada+ deal that they were offering at the time when Theresa May was in, then we would have accepted that but since Theresa May is gone, they've said we want you to regulate your state aid. We want the fishing. We want to look at the governing of the agreement and they put all these caveats in that are making it more difficult to agree on a free trade deal because they aren't treating the UK as an independent country. So, I think it's a difficult one but I do think Michael Gove is right to say that we shouldn't be carving up the UK.

    Sputnik: How will this affect a free trade deal? I mean is it even likely that one will be agreed upon between Britain and the EU? 

    Mandy Boylett: I think it's very likely that we'll get a free trade deal. I think this is all just negotiating tactics. I mean, in business, it's common to negotiate right up to the wire and I think that's what the government's doing. Theresa May wasn't really prepared to negotiate anything the EU asked and she said yes take, whereas now we've got proper negotiators. So, it will go to the wire but it's in the EU's interest and it's in the UK's interest to have a free trade deal and I'll be very, very surprised if we don't end up with one.

    Sputnik: Boris Johnson has stated that he wants a deal agreed by mid-October. What does Britain need to do ahead of its scheduled departure on 1st of January to ensure Brexit happens smoothly?

    Mandy Boylett: I think it would be a great failure of the statesmanship of both the UK and the EU if we don't end up with a free trade deal. Obviously, it's in everybody's interests. We don't want delays at the port. We don't want the uncertainty and the difficulty that effectively a no deal Brexit would bring. Ultimately the UK will do very well out of it. We could go to be a low to a low tax haven, we could entice companies like Google and Amazon who are currently located in Ireland and Luxembourg due to their tax regimes to come to the UK. If you handled the economy in the right way the UK could diverge and become very successful.

    But short term yes, it would be very awkward if there wasn't a free trade deal. I think the EU needs to think about the car manufacturers and exporters in Germany, the wine producers in France, and the UK need to think about we don't really want to lorry park in Kent - it's not the best thing. I think they just need their heads banging together and the EU needs to lose some of its preconceptions that they own the UK and treat the UK as an independent country and then we'll be able to sort it out.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

    relationship, Brexit, deal, European Union (EU), United Kingdom
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