Michael Gove claims Scottish independence will be ‘worse' than worst-case Brexit

Michael Gove in the House of Commons

Michael Gove in the House of Commons - Credit: Parliament TV

Michael Gove has claimed Scottish independence would be “worse' than the worst-case Brexit.

The chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster made the comments during a Commons debate on the UK’s departure from the EU, as he outlined the “reasonable worst case scenarios”.

SNP MP Pete Wishart criticised the government’s handling of Brexit and said Scotland was planning the “best case scenario” to get out of the “rogue state UK”.

Gove replied by mocking Scottish nationalists, claiming an independent Scotland would be “the worst case of all”.

He was outlining plans for the end of the transition period, as the UK leaves the single market and customs union in 100 days.

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In response Wishart criticised the Internal Market Bill and accused the government of wanting a no-deal Brexit.

He said: ”[The EU] are having to deal with a UK that's prepared to tear up the withdrawal agreement that was oven-ready and the greatest deal ever just a few months ago, and in the process break international law.

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"But there's one good thing that's come out of all of this: it's focused Scottish minds on the type of future we want as a normal European nation.

"What I don't understand is why does he continue with this charade of seeking a deal when we know it's the no deal that they all want?

"The Scottish people are also scenario-planning. We are planning a best-case scenario when we get out of the rogue state UK before the worst of this Brexit madness consumes our beautiful nation.

"His European counterparts must be looking forward to the next round of talks with all the relish of a vegan being served a platter of chlorinated chicken.

"We're told that the talks are at a delicate stage. They're so delicate that the EU are close to telling the UK to get stuffed, and you have to say you can see their point.

“I remember the days of the 'easiest deal in history', 'having our cake and eating it' while observing the sunny uplands. But even the duchy himself told us that we hold all the cards.”

Gove replied: “I do not know where to begin, chickens or cake?

“Those questions were a mixter-maxter of mixed metaphors the likes of which even the most impressive makar [traditional Scottish poet] would be proud. It was a remarkable performance —they usually are.

“There are many questions about an independent Scotland that have not been answered.

“What will be the currency that an independent Scotland would use? How would UK pensions be guaranteed in an independent Scotland?”

“No pounds, no pension and poorer, an independent Scotland - unless the honorable gentleman can come up with better answers - is the worst case of all.”

Wishart responded to the quip by saying that the UK had been left holding a "joker" card with Gove’s Spitting Image puppet on it.

He added: "Well, it seems the only card we hold at the moment is the joker with his Spitting Image mush all over the front of it."

Gove replied: “Can I say thank you to Mr Wishart for referring to the fact that Spitting Image have fashioned a rubber puppet in my likeness?

“It's one of the greatest honours that has ever been paid to me and I hope that other members of the house will enjoy that recognition in due course."

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