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Boris Johnson's new Brexit plan has 'very good chance of getting through' Parliament, says Michael Gove

Michael Gove is optimistic that Boris Johnson's new Brexit plan will pass through Parliament. Credit: ITV/Peston

Boris Johnson's new Brexit plan to resolve the Northern Ireland backstop conundrum "has a very good chance of getting through" Parliament, Cabinet minister Michael Gove has said.

The Prime Minister's potential solution would see Northern Ireland effectively remain tied to EU single market rules for goods but leave the customs union.

Under his proposal, the arrangements would have to be approved by the currently suspended Assembly, which would then vote every four years on whether to keep them.

Appearing on ITV News Political Editor Robert Peston's show, Mr Gove, the minister in charge of no-deal planning, said there was a "pretty solid majority" in the Commons for Mr Johnson's plan.

The DUP have said they will back the Brexit blueprint and "they didn’t support any of the previous three attempts to get a deal.

"I know that some Conservative MPs who were unhappy with the withdrawal agreement that Theresa negotiated, have said that they’re supportive of this deal; so we have the DUP, Conservatives who were previously opposed, and some broad-minded and constructive Labour MPs.

"That seems to me to be a pretty solid majority.”

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Also on ITV's Peston was Labour MP Melanie Onn who confirmed that she would back the Prime Minister's plan, if it would avoid a no-deal Brexit.

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ITV News Political Correspondent Paul Brand pointed out that if Ms Onn was backing the proposals, then other Labour MPs likely would too.

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ITV News Political Correspondent Daniel Hewitt added there could potentially be a "real chance" of Parliament backing the blueprints, as they would also be supported by the DUP and many of the hardline-Brexit ERG group.

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However, for the proposals to even enter Parliament, they would have to be backed by the EU, something Peston believes is highly unlikely to happen.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has already given the plans cool response, saying there were "problematic points" in them, particularly relating to the "governance of the backstop".

However, Mr Gove remained positive saying there had been a "cautiously optimistic" response from the EU to the proposals, and that the plans were a "serious attempt to ensure that we can meet the EU where we need to, and there are some big concessions in it.

"We are excepting that in Northern Ireland - provided there's democratic consent that there will be European rules on food and manufacturing goods, you know that is quite a big concession, and I think there are a serious bunch of people in the EU who recognise that is a concession and is something they can get their teeth in to."

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The 52-year-old added that the EU want a deal, as a no-deal exit from the bloc would create a "great deal of uncertainty".

He continued: "I don't think there's anyone in the EU that wants a no-deal outcome.

"I don't want a no-deal outcome.

"The Prime Minister doesn't want a no-deal outcome."

However, Mr Gove said that if the EU did not agree to the deal, the UK would still leave the bloc on October 31 without one, despite MPs passing the Benn Bill to stop a no-deal Brexit.

However, the Surrey Heath MP was unable to say how this law would be circumnavigated, insisting that it would be a "bridge" that "we deal with when we come to it".

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