Philip Hammond to spark Cabinet fury by claiming Britain won’t be ready for a No Deal despite preparation

PHILIP Hammond will reignite a bitter Cabinet row by saying “all the preparation in the world” won’t ready Britain for a No Deal.

And he will warn there is a real risk Theresa May’s successor will “seek a damaging No Deal exit as a matter of policy” if the Commons fails to back the PM’s Brexit deal in two weeks’ time.

Philip Hammond will spark Cabinet fury again by claiming Britain won’t be prepared for a No Deal
PA:Press Association

The Chancellor will issue the blistering broadside in a speech to the CBI business group.

He will insist those pushing for a No Deal are “hijacking” the result of the 2016 EU referendum.

The incendiary move will spark fury among Eurosceptic Tories – who already blame the Treasury for delaying vital No Deal work.

It comes with Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay expected in Cabinet to demand No Deal preparation is ramped up ahead of a potential October 31 cliff edge.

But the PM is expected to duck the divisive issue until after the vote on her Brexit deal the beginning of June.

A Cabinet source said: “It looks like they’ll just kick the can down the road again on no deal.

“It’s always the easiest thing to do”.

In his speech, Mr Hammond will insist a No Deal will wreck the economy, hit jobs, businesses and future prosperity.

To an expected audience of 600 – including Cabinet and Shadow Ministers – he will say: “On the populist right there are those who now claim that the only outcome that counts as a truly legitimate Brexit is to leave with No Deal.

“Let me remind them: the 2016 Leave campaign was clear that we would leave with a Deal.

Let me remind them: the 2016 Leave campaign was clear that we would leave with a deal

Philip Hammond

“So to advocate for No Deal is to hijack the result of the referendum and in doing so, knowingly inflict damage on our economy and our living standards.

“Because all the preparation in the world will not avoid the consequences of No Deal.”

He will vow to fight for a negotiated Brexit, because of the “absolute obligation” to protect jobs.

And in a plea to MPs from other parties he hints they will face a No Deal unless they back the PM’s deal.

He will say: “We need to be clear, that if we do not resolve this issue in the next few weeks, there is a real risk of a new Prime Minister abandoning the search for a deal, and shifting towards seeking a damaging No Deal exit as a matter of policy.”

Cabinet is expected to be another testy marathon as ministers try to plot a way forward on Brexit amid spiralling fears it will be shot down by MPs a fourth and final time next month.

The senior ministers will try and thrash out the contents of the PM’s Withdrawal Bill, and new offers drawn up to coax round wavering Tory and Labour MPs.

But a draft of the bill circulated among ministers in the last week contains no radical new offers, just promises the PM has already made.

One frustrated minister told The Sun: “Why on earth are No10 promising a bold new offer? There’s nothing new in it, and it’s not bold.

“It’s teeing up disappointment again.”

Meanwhile the PM was dealt a blow as Brexiteer Dominic Raab – one of the leading contenders to replace her – cast doubt on whether he would vote for her Withdrawal Agreement Bill in next month’s crunch vote.

Speaking at a Telegraph event the former Brexit Secretary, who changed his mind to vote for Mrs May’s deal at the third time of asking, described the WAB as a “vehicle for a customs union” that would “rob us of the opportunities of Brexit”.

The Chancellor will insist a No Deal will wreck the economy and future prosperity of the country
PA:Press Association


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