Michael Gove mocks SNP MP over ‘goldfish-type movements of lips and teeth’ in brutal swipe
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Michael Gove took an opportunity to mock an SNP MP in the House of Commons, prompting laughter from the benches as he did so. Neil Gray had asked the Cabinet minister how he can expect the devolved governments to prepare for Brexit when crucial details are blocked by UK ministers. However, Mr Gray’s attempts at rebuttal during Mr Gove’s response were flouted by the muting of his video call.
Mr Gray said: “We now know through leaked Cabinet papers that this Tory government hid its Brexit plans from devolved governments.
“This includes state aid plans, food supply availability etc.
“How does he expect these governments to prepare when these crucial details are blocked from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland?
“And doesn’t the minister agree this level of ignorance and contempt is what’s helping to deliver polling support for independence at record levels and a consistent majority over the last 12 polls in a row?”
Mr Gove responded: “I have no secrets from the Honourable Gentleman and we take an open-book approach towards our preparations for leaving the European Union.
“I can see the Honourable Gentleman making goldfish-type movements of his lips and teeth… no, it’s breaking out into a smile.
“And that smile, of course, welcomes the fact that later this afternoon the Government’s sub-committee that deals with preparations for leaving the European Union will have ministers from the devolved administrations including my friends from the Scottish Government taking part.
“It’s one of the pleasures of this role that I have the opportunity every week to talk to excellent colleagues like Mike Russell, Humza Yousaf and others who do such a good job in working across the United Kingdom in the interests of all.”
The leaked documents Mr Gray was referring to were reportedly circulated to ministers in June, and contained detailed plans about subsidy controls which have now appeared in the controversial UK Internal Market Bill.
However the documents state clearly that several parts “should not be shared publicly or with the devolved administrations at this stage”.
This included paragraphs on revoking EU laws through statutory instruments, and on the UK government assuming control of state aid throughout the Internal Market Bill.
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