Philip Hammond accuses Boris Johnson of betraying Brexit by pushing for no deal

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Boris Johnson is poised to “betray” the Brexit result by quitting the EU without a deal, rebel ex-Chancellor Philip Hammond claimed.

The former Treasury chief insisted the Prime Minister was demanding too much from Brussels by calling for the scrapping of the Irish Backstop from the Withdrawal Agreement.

He risked splitting EU nations with the red line and paving the way for departing without a pact, Mr Hammond warned.

He told BBC’s Today that scrapping the Irish border ‘backstop’ is “effectively a wrecking tactic and the people behind this know that that means there will be no-deal”.

He said: “To set the bar for negotiations so high that we would inevitably leave without a deal is a betrayal.

” Such a move would be “just as much of a betrayal as not leaving at all”, he told the BBC.

A Government source accused Mr Hammond of having done “everything he could to block preparations for leaving and undermined negotiations” when Chancellor.

“We are leaving on October 31 and we will be ready to do so despite the former chancellor’s best efforts to the contrary,” the source added.

Former Commons clerk Lord Lisvane said a PM who wanted to “try it on” by suspending Parliament to force through no-deal risked having their “reputation shredded”.

Commons Speaker John Bercow vowed to torpedo moves to shut down Westminster, telling the Edinburgh Fringe festival he “strongly” believes the Commons “must have its way”.


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“If there is an attempt to circumvent, to bypass or – God forbid – to close down Parliament, that is anathema to me,” he said.

“I will fight with every breath in my body to stop that happening. We cannot have a situation in which parliament is shut down — we are a democratic society.”

Mr Hammond said he was busting two “great myths” over a no-deal Brexit , arguing it will be damaging to the nation – both economically and to the union – and that voters do not back the move.

“Most people in this country want to see us leave in a smooth and orderly fashion that will not disrupt lives, cost jobs or diminish living standards, whether they voted Leave or Remain in 2016,” he wrote.

“Parliament faithfully reflects the view of that majority and it will make its voice heard. No-deal would be a betrayal of the 2016 referendum result. It must not happen.”

Mr Hammond also accused “some key figures in the Government” of “absurdly” suggesting no-deal would boost the UK’s economy.

According to The Sun, Mr Hammond and 20 other senior Tories have written to the PM to say his demands to abolish the backstop “set the bar so high that there is no realistic probability of a deal being done”.

And The Sun reported that a separate letter with a similar sentiment was sent to the PM with the signatures of Mr Hammond and 20 other senior Tory MPs, including former Cabinet ministers David Lidington, David Gauke, Rory Stewart and Greg Clark.



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