Friday 5 July 2019 11:38 am

Hammond vows to block no-deal Brexit

Chancellor Philip Hammond will “find a way” to block a no-deal Brexit come 31 October, he said today.

Read more: Leaving the EU without a deal would cost the UK £90bn, says Hammond

The Treasury boss warned Prime Minister Theresa May’s successor not to “sideline” MPs to deliver Brexit.

Hammond branded such a move “shocking” on BBC Radio 4’s Political Thinking podcast.

The chancellor’s tenure is widely expected to end after May leaves office at the end of this month, with either Boris Johnson or Jeremy Hunt in line to replace her at 10 Downing Street.

Johnson, the favourite to become the next leader of the Tory party and PM, has committed to a “do or die” Brexit in which he will pull the UK out of the EU by 31 October even without a deal.

Meanwhile Hammond has warned MPs that a no-deal Brexit would knock a £90bn hole through the UK’s finances.

He said he would vote against such an outcome if it was brought before the Commons.

“The Commons has been clear already that it does not support a no-deal exit. That is my position, and as a backbencher I will continue to argue against a no-deal exit,” he said.

“I am quite confident that the House of Commons will find a way and indeed should be able to find a way [to block no deal],” he added.

“It would be frankly rather shocking if the House of Commons, the elected representatives of the people, could be simply sidelined by a government that was doing something that was the exact opposite of what the House of Commons clearly wanted done.”

Johnson has refused to rule out “proroguing” parliament – effectively suspending it – in order to deliver a no-deal Brexit.

Read more: UK deficit grows as Hammond nears the exit

Hunt, meanwhile, has said he would deliver a no-deal Brexit “with a heavy heart”, but has not committed to the current 31 October departure date, leaving the way open for yet another extension from the original 29 March deadline.

Main image credit: Getty