Michael Gove admits Brexit 'not at the gin and tonic and peanuts stage yet'

Michael Gove had admitted parts of Brexit are “not at the gin and tonic and peanuts stage yet”.

The senior Conservative Minister compared the recent difficulties with the EU and the Northern Ireland protocol to the turbulence when an aeroplane takes off.

Speaking at the Lords European Union Committee on Tuesday, Mr Gove insisted the situation would improve.

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He said: “We all know that when an aeroplane takes off, that’s the point when you sometimes get that increased level of turbulence.

Michael Gove had admitted parts of Brexit are “not at the gin and tonic and peanuts stage yet”.

“But then eventually you reach a cruising altitude and the crew tell you to take your seatbelts off, and enjoy a gin and tonic and some peanuts.

“We’re not at the gin and tonic and peanuts stage yet, but I’m confident we will be.”

Mr Gove also compared the current trading issues to when he "would proffer a Scottish bank note to a taxi driver in London that they would question whether they should accept it”.

He said: “It is sometimes an issue you have a misunderstanding that arises that requires to be addressed."

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Chief Brexit negotiator Lord Frost told the committee the past six weeks in UK-EU relations had been “more than bumpy”, but demanded a “different spirit” from the EU to solve.

He explained: “None of those things are in themselves dramatic, although some have been very, very serious. We have behind that obviously the Northern Ireland issues.

“I think it’s been more than bumpy to be honest in the last six weeks. I think it’s been problematic. I hope we’ll get over this.

“It is going to require a different spirit probably from the EU, but I’m sure we are going to see that and see some of this subside as we go forward.”

Lord Frost also claimed the problems were down to the EU still adapting to the new relationship.

He said: “I think the EU is still adjusting somewhat, as we thought they might, to the existence of a genuinely independent actor in their neighbourhood and obviously there’s been a certain amount of disagreement over the vaccine issues, which in many ways have created political difficulties on the EU side.”

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