Lord Law­son wants Ham­mond sacked over Brexit stance

The Press and Journal (Moray) - - NEWS -

For­mer Tory chan­cel­lor Lord (Nigel) Law­son has called for Philip Ham­mond to be sacked from the Trea­sury, ac­cus­ing him of un­der­min­ing Brexit ne­go­ti­a­tions.

Lord Law­son said that Mr Ham­mond’s re­fusal to re­lease money now for prepa­ra­tions for a “no deal” Brexit was “very close to sab­o­tage”.

But Down­ing Street in­sisted that Theresa May re­tained full con­fi­dence in her chan­cel­lor and lead­ing Brex­i­teers Boris John­son and Liam Fox played down sug­ges­tions of a split in the Cabi­net over Brexit prepa­ra­tions.

Mr Ham­mond said on Wed­nes­day that he would de­lay un­til the last mo­ment au­tho­ris­ing mil­lions of pounds of fund­ing for fa­cil­i­ties – such as beefedup cus­toms op­er­a­tions and lorry parks near ports – if talks end with­out a deal.

His com­ments led to a wave of at­tacks from sup­port­ers of a hard Brexit, with a na­tional news­pa­per even brand­ing him “treach­er­ous”.

Asked whether he should re­main as chan­cel­lor, Lord Law­son told BBC2’s Daily Pol­i­tics: “I fear not. I fear that he is un­help­ful. He may not in­tend it but in prac­tice what he is do­ing is very close to sab­o­tage.”

The Con­ser­va­tive peer, a fer­vent en­thu­si­ast for Brexit, said: “The re­ally im­por­tant thing now is that we pre­pare for the no deal

“In prac­tice what he is do­ing is very close to sab­o­tage”

out­come and it is grossly ir­re­spon­si­ble if we don’t pre­pare.”

Asked whether this meant Mr Ham­mond was be­ing ir­re­spon­si­ble, he replied: “I fear he is, yes. You have to spend money from time to time, and there is noth­ing more im­por­tant than pre­par­ing for what has al­ways been the most likely out­come.”

DEAD­LOCK: David Davis, left, and Euro­pean chief ne­go­tia­tor for Brexit, Michel Barnier in Brus­sels

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