Michael Gove won't repeat Tories' year-on-year debt reduction pledge

NIcholas Cecil
AFP via Getty Images

Cabinet minister Michael Gove today repeatedly stopped short of committing a Tory government to bringing down Britain’s debt year-on-year.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson made a pledge in August that his administration would reduce the UK’s debt mountain every year.

However, with promises to spend billions more on public services including on the NHS, schools and police, Cabinet Office minister Mr Gove declined several times to repeat the commitment to reduce annually the nation’s debt.

Instead he told Sky News that if the Conservatives win the election they will adopt a “balanced approach towards the economy which means that we invest in public services and at the same time we also pay down the deficit that was inherited from the Labour government in 2010”.

The deficit is the difference between Government spending and revenue every year, while debt is the total amount owed.

Mr Gove today flatly ruled out any pact with Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party and insisted that Britain would leave the EU by December 2020, arguing that a free trade deal could be struck within just over a year.

But EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier has warned that a post-Brexit trade deal could take more than three years to agree.