Brexit: Grand National could suffer badly from no-deal

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Michael Gove has suggested this year’s Grand National could suffer if there is a no-deal Brexit.

The environment secretary said free movement of horses “would be harmed” if MPs did not back Theresa May’s deal next week.

The Grand National held at Aintree Racecourse in Liverpool

The Grand National held at Aintree Racecourse in Liverpool

His remarks came when he was pressed on whether Irish horses would be able to take part in the April event if the UK leaves without an agreement on 29 March.

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Labour’s John Mann (Bassetlaw) told the Commons: “My very savvy constituents do like to participate in the biggest horse race event of the year, the Grand National on 6 April.

“Being savvy, large numbers of them do tend to bet on Irish horses.

“With a no-deal, can they be certain that Irish horses will get to the Grand National or not?”

Mr Gove replied: “Well, you make a very important point.

“In the event of no deal, the tripartite agreement, which is part of EU law, falls – and of course the bloodstock industry, the horse racing industry and others can take mitigating steps.

“But it is the case that the current free movement of equines would be harmed but would be protected by this deal.”