Despite failing to mention them in the run up to the 2016 referendum, Michael Gove is now urging UK citizens to take out comprehensive travel insurance to cover health costs and check their mobile roaming policies to avoid charges if they are travelling to the EU.
UK travellers have previously been able to rely on the European Health Insurance Card, and have avoided roaming charges thanks to a ban throughout the EU.
But the Brexit trade deal brokered this week does not allow for Brits to keep either of these advantages.
Gove also warned businesses that the time is “very short” to make the final preparations before the UK begins trading with its biggest trading partner and minimise what he said would amount to “some disruption”.
“In just three days’ time the Brexit transition period will end and we will have finally regained our independence,” he added.
Conservative grandee Lord Heseltine urged MPs and peers to abstain when voting on Boris Johnson’s trade deal, warning it will inflict “lasting damage” on the UK.
The former deputy prime minister said he will “in no way share the endorsement of the legislation”, but that he will not vote against it because the consequences of a no-deal would be even graver.
The IPPR think tank warned that the “weaker than expected” protections in the treaty leaves workers’ rights and environmental protections at risk of erosion.
But the PM denied the UK would regress on workers’ rights and environmental standards, two issues both sides have committed to uphold in the deal.
“All that’s really saying is the UK won’t immediately send children up chimneys or pour raw sewage all over its beaches. We’re not going to regress, and you’d expect that,” he told the Sunday Telegraph.
The PM did acknowledge that the treaty “perhaps does not go as far as we would like” over access to EU markets for financial services.
A hasty analysis of the treaty secured on Christmas Eve began in earnest when it was published in full on Boxing Day – less than a week before its implementation.
The self-styled “star chamber” of lawyers led by veteran Eurosceptic MP Sir Bill Cash and assembled by the European Research Group of Tory Brexiteers was expected to reveal its verdict on Tuesday.
Despite being one of the main sticking points in negotiations, Andrew Locker said the industry had been “betrayed” by Johnson, who has delivered a “fraction of what we were promised”.