Union could fall apart because of ‘benign neglect’, says Michael Gove
The union could fall apart because of “benign neglect”, according to Michael Gove.
The Cabinet Office minister agreed with his Tory colleague Jackie Doyle-Price, who said people in England could turn against the UK.
She told him that her constituents in Thurrock in Essex now griped about Scotland they way they used to about Brussels.
Gove was giving evidence to a joint meeting of the Welsh, Scottish, Northern Ireland and public administration and constitution affairs committees on the Dunlop Review into the Government’s Union capability.
Jackie Doyle-Price told Mr Gove: “Five years ago we had a political establishment that largely took UK acceptance of membership of the EU for granted, and thought it would follow its leaders by wishing to keep it.
“Ultimately the people of England decided they believed in Britain rather than Brussels.
“The kind of conversations I now have on the doorstep, that used to be fruity conversations about Brussels, are now fruity conversations about Scotland.
“So I think those of us who do believe in the union need to do a lot more than just assert it, or else we could end up losing the union by benign neglect just as happened with Brexit.”
Gove replied that it was a “very fair point”.