February 24, 2019 / 11:48 AM / a year ago

UK government is making progress on changes to Brexit deal - Gove

FILE PHOTO: Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Michael Gove leaves Downing Street, London, Britain, January 18, 2019. REUTERS/Hannah McKay/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - Prime Minister Theresa May is making progress in her efforts to negotiate changes to Britain’s exit deal with the European Union, British environment minister Michael Gove said on Sunday.

Gove also urged colleagues not to support an attempt next week to wrest control of the process from the government to stop a no-deal exit, after three ministers signalled they would side with rebels and opposition parties.

“I understand that progress is being made,” he said, of the attempt to secure changes to the so-called backstop insurance policy to prevent a hard border on the island of Ireland.

“It could be a time limit, I think it could be a unilateral exit mechanism. I think these things are possible and I think it could be another legally powerful protocol or addition to the treaty which makes it clear that we would not be bound in the backstop indefinitely against our will.”

Reporting by Kylie MacLellan; editing by Guy Faulconbridge

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