Nick Robinson Mocks Michael Gove Over The Supposed Benefits Of Brexit: 'Is That It?'

Nick Robinson and Michael Gove clashed on the Today programme
Nick Robinson and Michael Gove clashed on the Today programme

Nick Robinson and Michael Gove clashed on the Today programme

BBC journalist Nick Robinson mocked Michael Gove after the cabinet minister struggled to come up with examples of how Brexit has benefited UK businesses.

The radio presenter replied “Is that it?” as the prominent Brexiteer tried to list the ways in which leaving the European Union has helped British companies.

Gove, who is the levelling up secretary, was one of the key figures in the Vote Leave campaign which won the 2016 EU referendum.

Appearing on Radio Four’s Today programme this morning, he was put on the spot by Robinson on how Brexit is working out.

The presenter said: “How have you made the lives of businesses easier by leaving the EU?”

Gove replied: “As environment secretary I was responsible, particularly, for the food and drink sector and for farming and agriculture, and we got rid of the common agricultural policy and we’re replacing it with a system of public money for public goods.”

Robinson then said: “Sure, but how has that made business easier for people who create jobs and who create profit?”

The minister responded: “Well it means that the people in the sector for which I was directly responsible have a more rational method of support from the government. It means that there is now a growing market in environmental goods, in farmers and others who are working to make our rivers cleaner, our air purer.”

But Robinson hit back: “I think if I was from the CBI [confederation of British industry] I might be tempted to say ‘is that it?’.

“This great transformation of our economy promised six years ago and you’re saying it’s the end of the CAP. How has the life of people trying to create jobs and create profits made UK Plc better off?”

Gove said the UK was also now in full control of its own migration policy, to which Robinson said: “That may be good in its own right, but it doesn’t help business.”

But the minister said: “I think it does because the points-based system allows us to prioritise those people who have the skills and talents that we need, but it also means that we can control unskilled migration in other sectors.”

The interview eventually ended with Robinson cutting Gove off, which he blamed on the minister being late.

Gove replied: There was so much more that I could say about the benefits of being outside the European Union.”

The clash came just days after Treasury minister Andrew Griffith failed to come up with a single benefit of Brexit when asked in the House of Commons.