‘I would try for a deal’: Tory hopeful Jeremy Hunt would renegotiate Brexit package with EU

Jeremy Hunt on BBC1's Andrew Marr show on Sunday, June 16. Picture: BBC

Jeremy Hunt on BBC1's Andrew Marr show on Sunday, June 16. Picture: BBC - Credit: Archant

Jeremy Hunt has claimed it is still possible to negotiate a new deal with the European Union that would solve the issue of the Irish border backstop.

Tory hopeful Jeremy Hunt told BBC1's Andrew Marr that European leaders are open to renegotiating the Brexit package, despite European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker previously telling Theresa May that there could be no more renegotiation of the Brexit deal.

"When you talk to European leaders as I do they want to solve this problem," said Hunt.

"They say that if they were approached by a British prime minister, someone they were willing to deal with, who had ideas how to solve the Northern Irish border, they would be willing to re-negotiate the package.

"They are prepared to look at whether you could get much more detail onto the future relationship - potentially that could be legally-binding, let's see - so that you don't need a backstop.

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"I would never pretend that this is going to be easy but nor is it impossible."

The MP for South West Surrey refused to commit to leaving the EU by the October 31 deadline.

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He said: "I'm not committing to a 31 October hard stop at any costs because I don't think you can make that guarantee.

"If you go with the wrong approach you are committing us to nothing other than a hard Brexit, a no-deal Brexit.

"I've been very clear, if there is no prospect on 31st October - of getting a deal that can get through parliament, then I would be prepared to leave without a deal.

"In the end, the risk of no Brexit, the democratic risk is far worse than the risk of no-deal.

"The difference between me and Boris is that I'm saying I would try for a deal. I think we should be offering the country some better choices."

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