Michael Gove claims Brexit deal will 'end the ugly politics' surrounding EU referendum

Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Michael Gove buys coffee from a cafe in Westminster, central L

Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Michael Gove buys coffee from a cafe in Westminster, central London as ongoing talks to strike a post-Brexit trade deal take place this morning. - Credit: PA

Cabinet minister Michael Gove, writing in The Times, has said the government's Brexit deal will end the “ugly” politics since the 2016 Brexit referendum.

The leading Brexiteer said he "won't deny it's been difficult" for many people since then.

"Friendships have been strained, families were divided and our politics has been rancorous and, at times, ugly. Through the past four years, as a politician at the centre of this debate, I've made more than my share of mistakes or misjudgements, seen old friendships crumble and those closest to me have to endure pressures they never anticipated."

He said he had felt "conscious of a responsibility" to deliver Brexit, and added: "I asked people to vote Leave so they could have their voices heard."

Gove said the agreement will create a new “special relationship” with the EU – a term usually used to refer to UK-US links.

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"We can develop a new pattern of friendly co-operation with the EU, a special relationship if you will, between sovereign equals.

"The greatest prize, however, is the chance now to renew our country and help it to recover from the ravages of the Covid-19 pandemic in a spirit of shared endeavour and solidarity. We have a duty to spread opportunity more equally across the UK. Outside the EU, with a good trade deal in place, we can tackle the injustices and inequalities that have held Britain back."

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