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EU still got time! Michael Gove gives Brussels LAST CHANCE for Brexit deal

Brussels agrees that now is the time to “accelerate” the negotiations and also wants an “early” pact on the principles, he said. Mr Gove was updating MPs on progress in the talks after Prime Minister Boris Johnson spoke to the EU’s top officials on Monday. The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster said discussions will intensify from June 29.

He said: “We’re looking to get things done in July. We do not want to see this process going on into the autumn and then the winter. We all need certainty and that is what we’re aiming to provide.”

Mr Gove insisted the UK is “ready to be flexible” in how it secures a comprehensive free trade agreement with the EU and there is “no intrinsic reason” why a deal cannot be reached in good time.

He said: “The UK’s political will is there, our position is reasonable, based on precedent, and we still have the time to bring a deal home.

“That is why the Prime Minister has led the drive to accelerate these talks, to reach agreement and to ensure next January we leave the regulatory reach of the EU and embrace the new opportunities our independence will bring.”

Protecting the rights of EU citizens living in Britain is a “priority” for the government, Mr Gove told the Commons.

But he said ministers have “concerns” about whether EU countries will take the same approach to British nationals in the bloc.

“We will continue to press the EU to ensure that our citizens’ rights are properly protected,” he said.

Mr Gove said the government is “committed” to securing a comprehensive free trade agreement but it must “fully reflect our regained sovereignty, independence and autonomy”.

He said there must not be restrictions on economic and legislative freedom and EU demands for the same fishing rights will not be accepted.

“There must be movement and the clock is ticking,” he said.

The Cabinet minister sought to reassure MPs about the impact on Northern Ireland if a deal is not reached.

Alliance MP Stephen Farry warned the impact of a border down the Irish Sea would be “severe” with businesses facing more costs and households.

Mr Gove said: “It is the case that we will push to secure a deal and a deal would be in everyone’s interests.”

Conservative MP Bob Stewart called for an extension of pet passport arrangements.

Mr Gove insisted “we always defend the rights of dogs”.

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