Future Relationship with the EU

Cabinet Office – in the House of Commons on 11th June 2020.

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Photo of Barry Sheerman Barry Sheerman Labour/Co-operative, Huddersfield

What plans he has to change the size and strength of the negotiating team working on the future relationship between the UK and the EU.

Photo of Michael Gove Michael Gove Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster

We have no plans to change the size of the negotiating team working on the future relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union. As Eric Morecambe said of Ernie Wise, it is “small and perfectly formed”.

Photo of Barry Sheerman Barry Sheerman Labour/Co-operative, Huddersfield

Some of us on the Committee on the Future Relationship with the European Union are very worried about the Secretary of State. He was very lacklustre when he gave evidence to the Committee recently, and we are very sympathetic. This is a tough job. In reality, we have only five months to get it right for the country. Is it not a fact that there is a rift between him and the Prime Minister? The Prime Minister is not good on detail. There is a rift between them—does he need more help to overcome that?

Photo of Michael Gove Michael Gove Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster

I am always grateful to the hon. Gentleman for offering to step in as a marriage counsellor. I have to say, notwithstanding my earlier reference to Morecambe and Wise, that the Prime Minister and I, when it comes to everything, are like the two Ronnies, so it’s goodnight from me and it’s goodnight from him.