UK minister grilled over Brexit claims

UK minister grilled over Brexit claims

Justice Secretary Michael Gove describes freedom of movement between EU and UK as 'discriminatory'

LONDON (AA) – U.K. Justice Secretary Michael Gove -- a high-profile member of the government campaigning for Britain to quit the European Union -- failed during a Friday TV broadcast to name a single independent economic authority that backs the Leave campaign.

"I'm glad I have no economic authorities on my side," Gove said on the Sky News program, claiming that there were more important people backing the Brexit campaign.

Gove was asked to explain the Leave campaign’s claim that the U.K. sends £350 million [$508 million] a week to the EU. Gove said that he was “perfectly happy” to defend that figure.

"Every year we give billions of pounds to the European Union, billions of pounds that we should be spending here,” he said, adding: “We don’t have control of that money.”

On the topic of immigration, the Justice Secretary described the freedom of movement between the EU and the U.K. as “discriminatory”.

"I think it is wrong that any one of the 450 million citizens of the EU can be at the front of the queue and come here automatically,” he said.

Gove maintained that leaving the bloc would not have any effect on British citizens who live in the EU. "They know there are international rules,” he remarked.

Regarding a possible Scottish independence referendum in a post-Brexit U.K. Gove said: “I do not think if the people of the U.K. voted to leave one union, the people of Scotland would vote to leave another."

The cabinet member also dismissed claims that he could become the country’s next premier: "One thing I can tell you is there are a lot of talented people who can be prime minister after David Cameron, but count me out.”

Cameron is campaigning for the U.K. to remain within the EU.

Citizens will vote on the country’s EU membership on June 23.

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