Brexit news – live: Gove insists UK will not break up as Eustice admits ‘devastating blow’ to shellfish trade

Rory SullivanTue, 9 February 2021, 8:07 am

Michael Gove held talks with devolved administrations (Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Michael Gove held talks with devolved administrations (Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove has insisted that the UK will not break up as a result of Brexit, while admitting that the Northern Ireland protocol “is not working” and needs “redefining”.

Speaking on Monday to the European Scrutiny Committee, Mr Gove said that “constitutional, territorial, political integrity” of the UK was “unaffected”, despite trade problems between Great Britain and Northern Ireland UK.

Meanwhile, the environment secretary George Eustice admitted on Monday that the EU’s ban on British shellfish because of new Brexit rules is a “devastating blow” for the industry, which was valued at £393m in 2019.

The government had hoped that current bureaucracy – requiring fresh seafood to be purified and accompanied by health certificates – would be lifted from April.

Mr Eustice said ministers disagreed with the EU’s approach and advised exporters that their “consignments may very well not be accepted at EU ports for now”.