Michael Gove has been careless with the truth again. It’s worth noting that this is not surprising.
On the BBC Today radio programme (9 December 2020), Michael “Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster” Gove was interviewed.
He’s a senior politician, a leading Brexit-ist and surely aware that the UK is in the final stages of negotiations with the EU that will alter millions of lives.
In the interview, Gove said that after Brexit:
“yes there will be appropriate access” to free medical treatment for people from the UK when they visit EU countries.
“yes for a period” UK students will still be able to study abroad through schemes like Erasmus.
The next day, Chris Morris the BBC’s Reality Check correspondent fact-checked Gove’s interview.
Gove said people from the UK will be able to access free medical treatment in the UK.
Morris said: “as far as we understand the immediate answer is no there won’t be access… if there is no overall deal there will be no coverage and the government’s advice at the moment is buy health insurance from the beginning of the year”.
Gove said yes, for a period UK students will be able to study abroad through schemes like Erasmus.
Morris said: “he’s right up to a point in that that the students that are already there will be allowed to finish their courses although they could be subject to new immigration rules which means they can only stay in some countries for 90 days in any 180 days… but with no new deal or no new arrangements then for new students they will not be able to study abroad using Erasmus it will come to an end”.
Gove’s expedient relationship with accuracy and truth helped him into power.
But illness and education are important issues now, and will still be important when Gove’s populist obfuscations congeal, dry and flake away.
Four years on from the vote to Leave, Brexit has normalised political carelessness and lies.
We deserve better.