Ham­mond warns Boris over No Deal

Daily Mail - - News - By Jack Doyle As­so­ci­ate Edi­tor [email protected]­ly­mail.co.uk

PHILIP Ham­mond will to­day urge Boris John­son to keep open the op­tion of a sec­ond ref­er­en­dum to break the Brexit dead­lock and pledge to ‘fight’ against No Deal.

In a pes­simistic in­ter­ven­tion, the Chan­cel­lor will warn that the next prime min­is­ter will not be able to se­cure a bet­ter deal with the Euro­pean Union and MPs will block any at­tempt at a No Deal exit.

Mr Ham­mond will sig­nal his agree­ment with Rory Ste­wart, who was elim­i­nated from the lead­er­ship con­test yes­ter­day, that Mrs May’s deal is the best the EU will of­fer.

As a re­sult, ‘other demo­cratic mech­a­nisms’ may be needed. Al­lies said he was sug­gest­ing ei­ther a gen­eral elec­tion or sec­ond ref­er­en­dum.

The re­marks, due to be made to­day in his an­nual Man­sion House speech to senior bankers and fi­nanciers in the City of Lon­don, will make Mr Ham­mond the most senior Con­ser­va­tive to en­dorse the idea of a sec­ond vote on Brexit – and will en­rage hard­line Tory Brex­i­teers. They will be seen as a sug­ges­tion he could help to bring down a Boris led-government if it sought to pur­sue No Deal, by back­ing Labour in a con­fi­dence vote.

Call­ing on all the can­di­dates to be ‘hon­est with the pub­lic’ Mr Ham­mond will urge them to set out an al­ter­na­tive if their plan A is ‘un­de­liv­er­able’. He will say: ‘If the new Prime Min­is­ter can­not end the dead­lock in Par­lia­ment, then he will have to ex­plore other demo­cratic mech­a­nisms to break the im­passe. Be­cause if he fails, his job will be on the line – and so, too, will the jobs and pros­per­ity of mil­lions of our fel­low cit­i­zens.’

The Chan­cel­lor will say that the par­lia­men­tary arith­metic will not change un­less there is an elec­tion, Par­lia­ment will block No Deal, and will not sup­port the with­drawal deal as it stands.

He also sug­gests the EU will not budge and the Ir­ish back­stop will ‘not go away’.

He will also warn Mr John­son, and the re­main­ing lead­er­ship can­di­dates, that a No Deal Brexit would cause a hit on the pub­lic fi­nances of at least £30bil­lion and leave the cup­board bare for spend­ing pledges and tax cuts. And he will set his face firmly against No Deal, threat­en­ing to ‘fight, and fight again’ against it.

He will add: ‘I can­not imag­ine a Con­ser­va­tive and Union­ist-led Government, ac­tively pur­su­ing a No Deal Brexit; will­ing to risk the Union and our eco­nomic pros­per­ity. And a gen­eral elec­tion that could put Jeremy Cor­byn in Down­ing Street, to boot.’

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