Ex-Chancellor Philip Hammond: 'a clean break Brexit would be a betrayal'

Ex-Chancellor Philip Hammond has warned that leaving the EU without a deal risks betraying the EU referendum result.

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Hammond wrote in The Times: The move from demanding changes to the backstop to demanding its total removal is a pivot from a tough negotiating stance to a wrecking one.

“The unelected people who pull the strings of this government know that this is a demand the EU cannot and will not accede to.

“Not just because they will be stubborn in their defence of the single market but because the fragility of their own coalition of 27 means that any attempt on their side to reopen the package would see their unity collapse.

“They will not take that chance and the smart people in Whitehall know it.”

Hammond added: “Far from being a powerful independent United Kingdom making its voice heard on the world stage, the reality would be a diminished and inward-looking Little England, inexorably squeezed between the emerging economic power blocs.”

He accused Johnson of not showing enough desire that he wants a deal with the EU

Hammond wrote: “In 2016 the British people were invited to vote for a Brexit with a deal, and by a small margin they did so.

“They were told that a deal to protect Britain’s trade with the EU — our largest export market by far — would be “easy” to do.

“To pretend now that 2016 Leave voters voted for a hard no-deal Brexit is a total travesty of the truth.”

The UK is set to leave the EU in just 79 days. Boris Johnson vowed to leave the EU ‘do or die’ by 31st October.

Polls show a huge swing to the Conservative party since Boris Johnson became PM. With the Brexit Party waiting in the wings and reports of an upcoming election, the pressure is on Johnson to deliver the result of the referendum.

In response to Hammond, Brexit Party leader, Nigel Farage tweeted “Ex-Chancellor Hammond wants to stop Brexit by any means. The Tory party must get rid of these people or not be worth any Brexiteer voting for.”