Michael Gove has hit out the SNP for their stance over Brexit. 

He criticised the SNP for not backing Theresa May’s Brexit deal, adding: “We could have had a Withdrawal Agreement if only members of the Scottish National Party were as good as their word and put the interests of Scotland ahead of narrow sectarian, secessionist and separatist arguments.”

One SNP MP could be heard shouting “shame” in response to Mr Gove’s “sectarian” remark.

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He also told MPs the Government’s Brexit preparations “daily operations committee” codenamed XO has met 48 times since it was first convened in July.

In an address to the House of Commons Michael Gove said a no-deal Brexit would “certainly provide economic challenges” but also “economic opportunities”. 

 “Leaving the EU without a deal certainly provides economic challenges, I do not shirk from that, but it also provides economic opportunities.

“There’s the opportunity to secure new trade deals and become a strong voice for free trade at the WTO. The opportunity to develop new technologies which will help feed the world and enhance our environment.

“The opportunity to overhaul Government procurement to better support growing British businesses, the opportunity to introduce a fairer more efficient and more humane immigration system.

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“The opportunity to deal more effectively with cross-border crime. The opportunity to invest more flexibly and generously to support overlooked communities and the opportunity to strengthen our democratic institutions.”

He said negotiations with the EU, led by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Brexit Secretary Steve Barclay and Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, “have seen significant movement over recent weeks”.

He added: “Until recently the withdrawal agreement was sacrosanct. But now they have acknowledged that it can be changed."