Gove: UK will not have left EU by 2020 in event of Brexit

Leave campaigner Michael Gove appears to have conceded that in the event of a Brexit the UK will not actually leave the European Union by the end of Parliament in 2020.

Speaking on Peston on Sunday he set out his ambition to see immigration come down to the tens of thousands under an Australian-style points system.

But Mr Gove said he would not put a time limit on it as "we wouldn’t have left the European Union by the end of this Parliament".

He added: "We would in due course bring it down to tens of thousands. Yes."

Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty stipulates a withdrawal from the EU must be within two years, which would be by 2018.

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Mr Gove also claimed that "most of those who have built their own business, created their own wealth" are in favour of Brexit, although he failed to name any entrepreneurs specifically.

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Asked whether the Conservative party can stick together following an attack by Sir John Major on what the former prime minister called the Leave campaign's "squalid" and "deceitful" Brexit campaign, Gove said: "Whatever the result we will respect the democratic verdict, the British people will have spoken."

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When asked if he was now closer to Boris Johnson than David Cameron, Gove stumbled before he said he "wouldn't want to choose between them".