“What?!” – former prime minister is dumbfounded as her old nemesis suggests Brexit will help “intensify” the UK’s security.
Theresa May has ridiculed Michael Gove’s claim that Brexit could give intelligence and law enforcement services the power to “intensify” the security they provide for the UK.
The former prime minister was caught on camera looking at a colleague in astonishment and asking “what?!” as Gove made the comments during a Commons statement.
Gove said staying in EU crime databases would mean ongoing European Court of Justice jurisdiction in the UK, which he said would be unacceptable.
And the Cabinet Office minister even threw back one of May’s old maxims when she was PM by insisting “no deal is better than a bad deal”, even on security.
The two have long been enemies, dating back to the so-called Trojan horse affair when a briefing war erupted between Gove’s Department for Education and May’s Home Office, which was accused of failing to “drain the swamp” of extremism.
When May became PM in 2016, she sacked Gove before reinstating him to the cabinet a year later as environment secretary.
But the pair’s clash in the Commons showed the old tensions have not completely eased.
During Gove’s statement, May asked: “The government appears resigned to the prospect of no deal yet one area in which they should not be resigned to the prospect of no deal is in security.