Michael Gove is being lined up to be Britain’s new global trade supremo responsible for talks with both the European Union and the United States
- Michael Gove could lead trade talks with European Union and the United States
- Seen as a ‘reward’ for loyalty during struggles in Parliament during October
- Comes despite bitter fallout with Prime Minister in 2016 leadership contest
- Claims Department for International Trade could merge with Brexit Department
Michael Gove is being lined up to shape Britain’s future relationship with both the European Union and the United States, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.
Despite their bitter fallout in 2016, the Prime Minister is drawing up plans to put his fellow Brexiteer at the helm of a Whitehall super department responsible for forging Global Britain’s place in the world.
However, the complex task will see demands from both world powers contradict each other.
Michael Gove is being lined up to shape Britain’s future relationship with both the European Union and the United States. It is understood the new role would see Mr Gove responsible for both the second stage of Brexit negotiations with Brussels, as well as simultaneous trade talks with Donald Trump’s White House
Downing Street sources say the potential move in February could see the Department for International Trade merged with the Brexit Department, and both brought under control of the Cabinet Office fiefdom Mr Gove currently runs.
Since Mr Johnson took office last July, Mr Gove has been a key lieutenant and was regularly at his side during the Conservatives’ successful Election campaign.
This newspaper has been told his new-found loyalty will be rewarded with the large promotion early in the New Year, amid a wide-ranging reform of Whitehall led by the PM’s chief aide Dominic Cummings.
Since Mr Johnson took office last July, Mr Gove has been a key lieutenant and was regularly at his side during the Conservatives’ successful Election campaign. Pictured: The pair at a phone canvassing session during the election campaign
Other plans being mooted include a merger of the Foreign Office and Department for International Development, which administers overseas aid. The workings of the Foreign Office, Defence, Home Office and security services are also to be reviewed by diplomatic expert and adviser Professor John Bew.
Further restructuring of Whitehall could follow the findings of his sweeping probe focusing on Britain’s place on the world stage, due to report later in 2020.
Yesterday saw the first skirmish in trade talks with Brussels, with new EU boss Ursula von der Leyen hinting the EU would demand Britain vows to protect Europe’s security before any deal to protect the City will be considered.
However, one Cabinet Minister told the MoS that Mr Johnson must not fall into a similar ‘trap’ as Theresa May did in 2017 on so-called ‘sequencing’ of talks by agreeing to ‘hive off’ a settlement about the future of Northern Ireland from the wider trade deal. ‘We bent over on the sequencing once, and must not make the same mistake this time’, the Minister argued.