Britain intensifying EU no-deal prep, says Gove

FILE PHOTO: Britain's Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Michael Gove arrives at Parliament, amid the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in London, Britain, September 14, 2020. REUTERS/Hannah McKay

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain is stepping up preparations for a no-deal scenario when its transition deal with the European Union expires, minister Michael Gove said on Wednesday, adding that whilst government wants an agreement with Brussels, it will not be “held hostage”.

“No one would be happier than me if we could conclude an agreement, but we have an absolute obligation to ensure that the country is ready in the event that we don’t,” Gove told a parliamentary committee.

He said no-deal planning was being undertaken to ensure “that this country is not held hostage in a negotiation process.”

Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge and Kate Holton, writing by William James; editing by Sarah Young