Michael Gove signals split with Philip Hammond over Treasury Brexit warnings

Posted On: 
2nd December 2018

Brexiteer Michael Gove has taken a swipe at Chancellor Philip Hammond over his negative view on how Brexit will affect Britain’s economy.

Environment Secretary Michael Gove defended the Government's Brexit deal
Credit: 
PA

The fresh split comes after the latest Treasury and Bank of England forecasts both predicted that the UK would be better off by staying in the EU, compared to every Brexit scenario.

Responding to the news last week, Mr Hammond conceded that “there will be a cost to leaving the European Union because there will be impediments to our trade”.

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However, the Environment Secretary today dismissed the findings, saying that although the forecasts had some validity, they were “not definitive and not an oracle”. 

He told the BBC's Andrew Marr Show: “This is a rare occasion when there is a scintilla of difference between myself and Philip [Hammond] in that I think that we can do better outside the European Union.”

The prominent Brexiteer also defended Theresa May’s deal, saying he believed MPs would back it when it goes before Parliament on 11 December.   

“I believe that we can win the argument and win the vote. I know it is challenging,” he said.

“I reflected long and hard about this deal but I concluded, like lots of people, that while it is imperfect it is the right thing to do.

“One of the things that I hope people will have the chance to do over the next nine days is to recognise that we should not make the perfect the enemy of the good.”

Mr Gove also ruled out a second Brexit vote saying it would reignite political divisions and prompt a big surge in support for Leave.

He said: “I actually think if there were a second referendum people would vote to leave the EU in larger numbers than before.

“But the very act of calling a second referendum I believe would damage faith in democracy and rip apart the social fabric of the country."