Brexit news latest: Philip Hammond refuses to rule out QUITTING if UK went for No Deal Brexit
26th January 2019

The Chancellor repeatedly dodged questions on his political future, as he insisted that the EU COULD be prepared to budge its "red lines" over the Brexit deal.

When asked by the BBC and Sky today he would only say: "I'm not going to speculate". But he later told ITV: "I am not going to threaten to resign".

Last night his cabinet colleague Amber Rudd also repeatly refused to say she wouldn't quit either, saying only: "Wait and see."

And raising fresh hopes for the PM that she can get her deal passed, the Chancellor said this morning that the EU were "thinking very hard" about how to progress.

He insisted that the "way to avoid No Deal is to have a deal" as Theresa May battles to save her defeated agreement, but the EU has so far refused to re-open the agreement.

The PM could go back to Brussels to ask for tweaks to the hated Northern Ireland backstop which will keep us tied to the EU, but Mr Hammond said he didn't think they could throw it out altogether.

"What I hear from European politicians is that they are thinking very hard about where the EU has drawn its red lines and whether they really need to be there," he added.

The Sun revealed today that Mrs May's DUP allies are on track to back the deal if they toughened it up – which could include a time-limit on the backstop.

And Boris could get behind the plans too.

A No10 spokesperson said this morning they were "not there yet" but were still working on addressing a "range of concerns around the backstop".

It comes after French finance minister Bruno Le Maire said this morning that No Deal would be a "catastrophe" and it was down to the British government to sort out the mess.

"I'm afraid we have nothing to give," he told the BBC, adding the deal was "done" and reopening it would mean months of new talks.


His comments came as he doubled down on his gloomy warnings that a No Deal Brexit would be "extremely bad" for Britain.

The Chancellor risked fresh fury by warning that leaving without a deal would have a long-term impact on Britain's future and would be a "betrayal" of the British people.

Speaking in Davos at the elite World Economic Forum summit today, he said that people were told it would be "smooth and orderly" to leave the bloc – but it was clear that there would be a "significant hit to our economy" in the event of No Deal.

It comes after repeated warnings from the Treasury under George Osborne during the referendum campaign that even voting to leave would cause the loss of millions of jobs and a huge economic downturn – which has yet to happen.

Remainer Mr Hammond told the BBC this morning: "No Deal is not a good outcome. There will be a long term impact… that's not what people voted for.

"They did not vote to be worse off, they voted to be better off."

The Chancellor, who has long been pessimistic about Brexit, praised the Queen for her "wisdom" after she called on the country to "seek common ground" in a thinly veiled reference to Brexit.

The Queen last night also urged people to “respect other views” and “not to lose sight of the bigger picture”.

The news comes as:

  • Amber Rudd gave a huge hint that she would quit the Cabinet if the PM stopped her from backing plans to rule out No Deal
  • But Tory Lords could try and "talk out" the bill to try and stop it getting passed
  • The EU's Brexit chief has called on other countries to waive fees for Brits to stay there after we leave

He expressed sympathy with his colleague Amber Rudd, who has called for MPs to have a free vote on Monday's Brexit amendments – one popular one is to prevent No Deal and delay Brexit.

However, he said it would not "be the high noon of this debate" and there would be other times colleagues can "express their view".

No10 today ruled out a free vote on Tuesday earlier today.


It is VITAL to keep No Deal alive and Theresa May knows it.

Otherwise the EU has no incentive to fix her deal to get it through the Commons. The very existence of the Labour-backed Yvette Cooper amendment to “avoid No Deal” — a Remainer ruse to kill Brexit — threatens our position.

So what possessed our idiotic Chancellor Philip Hammond to tell his big business buddies at Davos that No Deal would “betray” the referendum result?

It’s both Grade A cobblers and pulls the rug from under his boss.

The Business Department, meanwhile, appears to have asked Airbus to make dire public warnings about No Deal, while europhile Minister Richard Harrington openly dared Mrs May to fire him for branding it a “total disaster”.

Amber Rudd is at it too.

Remainers have abandoned collective Cabinet responsibility and made their Government look even more feeble.

Tory MP, ex-Army officer and Afghanistan veteran Johnny Mercer knows vastly more than these Cabinet clowns about achieving difficult objectives with teamwork, loyalty and courage. He describes it well on the right.

This Cabinet should work as one to fix the Irish backstop which is scuppering the deal. If that fails, No Deal it still is. If they haven’t the stomach for it, quit.

The public is repulsed by their manoeuvres and plots.



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