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UK's Gove says Brexit treaty undercut clauses will remain in bill

Britain's Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Michael Gove takes part in Brexit talks with European Commission Vice President Maros Sefcovic in Brussels, Belgium September 28, 2020. John Thys/Pool via REUTERS

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain’s Brexit supremo, Michael Gove, said on Monday that the clauses of the Internal Market Bill that undercut the Withdrawal Treaty would remain, despite a demand from the European Union that London scrap them.

“We want to make sure that the Withdrawal Agreement is implemented in full,” Gove told reporters after talks in Brussels with European Commission Vice President Maros Sefcovic.

“But those clauses are there, they’re in legislation, supported by the House of Commons, as a safety net, if need be. And those clauses will remain in that bill.”

Gove said that Prime Minister Boris Johnson had been very clear that there needed to be progress in trade talks between chief negotiators Michel Barnier and David Frost for the process to conclude in time.

After talks with Sefcovic on the implementation of the 2020 Brexit divorce treaty, Gove said: “We had a constructive meeting. We both were clear with each other where we were still some distance apart but we were both also clear that we wanted to bridge that gap.”

He added: “Maros Sefcovic and I are committed to using every moment available: every second, every minute, every hour, in order to reach agreement and I’m confident that we will.”

Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge and William James; editing by Michael Holden