Hague backs Ham­mond in ‘tran­si­tional’ Brexit move

Midweek Sport - - NEWS -

PHILIP Ham­mond has been backed by for­mer Tory leader Lord Hague amid on­go­ing Cab­i­net ten­sions about the ap­proach to Brexit.

The ex-for­eign sec­re­tary said the Chan­cel­lor de­serves credit for push­ing for a tran­si­tional deal which pre­serves close ties to Brus­sels, giv­ing time for a new trad­ing re­la­tion­ship to be es­tab­lished and avoid­ing turn­ing Brexit into a “dis­as­ter”.

The Chan­cel­lor has dis­missed sug­ges­tions that Brexit could be “post­poned or de­layed” as min­is­ters push for a tran­si­tional deal.

Mr Ham­mond in­sisted that Brexit would go ahead as planned and re­it­er­ated that the UK’s le­gal obli­ga­tions with the EU will end on March 29, 2019, in­clud­ing the ju­ris­dic­tion of the European Court of Jus­tice.

But at a press con­fer­ence in Brazil he ac­knowl­edged there was still a “de­bate” about the na­ture of a tran­si­tional deal.

Lord Hague claimed Mr Ham­mond had been try­ing to per­suade Cab­i­net col­leagues that the UK should re­main in the sin­gle mar­ket and cus­toms union dur­ing the “im­ple­men­ta­tion phase”, which could last un­til 2022.

In his news­pa­per col­umn, he said: “This is seen by long­stand­ing ad­vo­cates of leav­ing as a ‘soft’ po­si­tion or a climb­down. But in re­al­ity it is a plan to res­cue Brexit from an ap­proach­ing dis­as­ter.”

“This should, of course, be the plan of the whole Gov­ern­ment, agreed in ad­vance, but it is the most sen­si­ble and work­able ap­proach.”

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