Michael Gove can't say how many customs agents 'ready to go' for Brexit after £50m fund
- Credit: Parliament Live
Michael Gove has been criticised by Labour for failing to answer a "basic question" on how many customs agents are ready to deal with Brexit at the end of the transition period in six weeks' time.
Shadow cabinet office minister Rachel Reeves was asking Brexiteer Gove about the fact that the transition period now ends in "less than 50 days".
"On our side of the House, we've been clear that failing to achieve a deal with the EU would be a disaster for the British economy.
"But deal or no deal, preparation needs to be in place for whatever new trading relationships are on the 1st January.
"In February this year, the minister recognised the need for 50,000 customs agents, trained and ready to go by the end of this year. And in July, he announced a £50m new fund to make this happen.
"So can the minister now update this House on how many customs agents are now trained and ready to go?"
But dodging the question the minister told MPs: "50,000 was always an estimate, there has been a significant increase in the number of customs agents that have been employed, both by companies themselves with in-house capacity and also through intermediaries who have been scaling up their own activities as well."
- 1 Public give hilarious reaction to Brexiteer's tweet on Project Fear
- 2 'The irony': Iain Duncan Smith mocked following 'honesty with the public' remark about Rishi Sunak
- 3 Commons speaker delivers blistering attack on government following leak of latest lockdown information
- 4 Transport boss calls government's handling of Brexit border proceedings a 'complete shambles'
- 5 British actors barred from applying for role of young Prince William due to Brexit
- 6 Brexiteer Claire Fox defends public sector pay freeze saying workers are 'not the only heroes'
- 7 The Remainers who haven't been paying attention
- 8 Nine best tweets trolling Nigel Farage over anti-lockdown post
- 9 Rishi Sunak fails to declare family's wealth in ministerial register, probe finds
- 10 Joe Biden could scrap US-UK travel corridor in favour of one with Ireland
Slamming the response, Reeves said: "It's frustrating that the minister cannot answer this basic question.
"One minute he wants to channel his inner Roosevelt, and the next minute he says that this should all be left to the market.
"Businesses are demanding leadership and they are demanding action."
Become a Supporter
The New European is proud of its journalism and we hope you are proud of it too. We believe our voice is important - both in representing the pro-EU perspective and also to help rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.