Gove: We’re taking steps to make sure water is safe after Brexit

PUBLISHED: 11:51 28 November 2018 | UPDATED: 12:13 28 November 2018

Michael Gove watches Prime Minister Theresa May delivers her keynote speech at the Conservative conference. Photograph: Victoria Jones.

Michael Gove watches Prime Minister Theresa May delivers her keynote speech at the Conservative conference. Photograph: Victoria Jones.

PA Wire/PA Images

They promised sunlit uplands - now Brexiteer Michael Gove has been forced to assure us that UK drinking water will be safe after Brexit.

The environment secretary was quizzed by the DEFRA committee over a news report which suggested there might be a shortage of chemicals used to treat water if the UK left the EU without a deal.

Gove told the MPs: “It is the case that the water industry is reliant on chemicals that are imported from the EU in order to ensure that we have pure and safe drinking water.

“But it is also the case that the overwhelming majority of those chemicals come in to ports which are not in the narrow straits - they come in through Immingham (in Lincolnshire) rather than through Dover - some come through Dover.

“It is the case that, prudently, we have talked to the water companies, and I have been talking to the regulator, to make sure that those chemicals can be sourced.

“So ... if we leave without a deal, then we needed to take appropriate steps to mitigate.

“We are taking those steps. So, it should be the case that our water will be - in fact, it will be the case that our water will be completely safe to drink.”

Gove has previously proposed that after Brexit that the public should be allowed to sift through rubbish tips to look for “hidden treasure”.

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