Philip Hammond has said that Boris Johnson would be ‘betraying’ the people if he enacted a no-deal Brexit, by listening to ‘unelected’ saboteurs, and it goes without saying that people have thoughts.
Writing in The Times, former chancellor Hammond argued that a no-deal Brexit would be a ‘betrayal’ of the 2016 referendum result, that Parliament would “make its voice heard”, and that a no-deal Brexit “must not happen”.
In the article, the Tory backbencher wrote:
The hardliners may make the most noise but they are not the most numerous.
Most people in this country want to see us leave in a smooth and orderly fashion that will not disrupt lives, cost jobs or diminish living standards, whether they voted leave or remain in 2016.
No deal would be a betrayal of the 2016 referendum result. It must not happen.
In an apparent swipe at Dominic Cummings, he added:
The unelected people who pull the strings of this government know that this is a demand the EU cannot, and will not, accede to.
Not just because they will be stubborn in their defence of the single market (although they will), but because the fragility of their own coalition of 27 means any attempt on their side to reopen the package would see their unity collapse.
They will not take that chance and the smart people in Whitehall know it.
The former chancellor also reiterated his points on BBC Radio 4’s Today Show, in an interview with presenter Nick Robinson. Speaking on the show, he said:
Boris Johnson has told me privately, and he’s told the country publically that he is determined to get a deal, and that he’s confident he can get one, but I fear there are other people around him whose agenda is different.
Needless to say people on social media have a lot of thoughts about Hammond’s comments.
Hammond has taken the lead of a group of 20 Tories, including seven cabinet ministers, who have written to Johnson in order to accuse him of setting the bar too high in negotiations with the EU to hope to get changes to a deal, reports the Guardian.
Signed by Greg Clarke, David Gauke, and Rory Stewart, the letter says:
We are alarmed by the ‘red lines’ you have drawn which, on the face of it, appear to eliminate the chance of reaching agreement with the EU.