Michael Gove says the EU is “not serious” about securing the Brexit deal

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CABINET OFFICE MINISTER Michael Gove has insisted that the door to post-Brexit trade talks with the EU is “ajar” after Downing Street declared negotiations “over”.

Gove accused EU officials of failing to make serious compromises and said they would have to resign if negotiator Michel Barnier is to resume negotiations in London this week.

His warning today came after Prime Minister Boris Johnson accused European leaders of “abandoning the idea of ​​a free trade agreement” and urging the country to “prepare” to leave without a trade deal.

And Downing Street negotiator Lord Frost told his EU counterpart not to travel to scheduled talks.

But Gove left room for talks to reach a trade deal to prevent the high trade tariffs Britain will face from December 31 at the end of the transition period.

When asked whether the door was still open for discussions, he said: “It’s ajar; We hope that the EU will change its position. We are certainly not saying we cannot speak to them if they change their position. ”

But he added on the BBC The Andrew Marr Show that “we will be ready if necessary” to go without a trade deal, which he admitted would not be a “picnic.”

He had previously told Sky’s Sophy Ridge on Sunday that the chances of a deal were “lower” than the 66% he had previously predicted.

“It is less. I can’t say for sure, but one of the reasons it is less is the position that the Heads of State or Government of the European Union have taken over the past few weeks, ”he added.

He said the EU refused to work on a detailed draft law during the negotiations and was not “ready to step up the talks” while making unacceptable demands on fishing waters.

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“And that seems to me to be the behavior of an organization and an institution that is not serious about making the compromises it takes to get a deal,” said Gove.

When asked if talks with Barnier could be resumed, he replied: “The ball is in his field. We have made it clear that the European Union’s approach must change.

“I know he’ll be calling David Frost in the next few days. Let’s see if the European Union recognizes the importance of an agreement and the importance of creating soil. ”

On Friday, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said it would be “pointless” for Barnier to travel to London unless the 27 EU member states are willing to change their position or want to discuss sectoral agreements in order not to prepare for an agreement .

“The trade talks are over. The EU effectively ended them by saying they do not want to change their negotiating position, “the spokesman said.

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