Cabinet Office Minister Penny Mordaunt replaced Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Michael Gove in the House of Commons to answer questions on the trade talks from the opposition. Ms Mordaunt explained that Michael Gove and herself would be outlining this Friday, in the Brexit committee meeting, how they plan to put pressure on the bloc. She said: “We have always been clear that such a deal must always accommodate the reality of the UK’s well-established position on the so-called level playing field, fisheries and the other difficult issues.
“The EU must recognise the UK as a sovereign equal.
“The House should also be aware that this Friday the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and I will be at the second meeting of the withdrawal agreement joint committee.
“We will be able to update the committee about the positive process the UK is making on implementing our obligations, not least on citizens rights and the Northern Ireland protocol.
“We will also emphasise that we will not be extending the transition period and push the EU on implementing their obligations under the terms of the agreement.”
The Paymaster General insisted the Government remains committed to resolving issues with the European Union and will keep the House of Commons updated on any Brexit progress.
Labour’s Shadow Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Rachel Reeves asked Ms Mordaunt to also outline last week’s Brexit trade talk progress.
Ms Mordaunt said: “Negotiators from the UK and the EU held full and constructive discussions last week via video conference led by David Frost, the UK’s chief Brexit negotiators.
“The talks covered trade in goods and services, fisheries, law enforcement, criminal justice and other issues in which both sides engaged constructively.”
“It is our priority to conclude these negotiations in good time to allow our citizens and businesses to have certainty about the trading terms that will follow at the end of this year.
“And, if necessary, to allow any ratification of agreements reached.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson and those in his Cabinet have repeatedly insisted the UK will be leaving the transition period at the end of the year regardless of the success or failure of the Brexit trade negotiations.