No-deal Brexit will leave UK ‘at mercy of French’ warns Hammond
- Credit: Archant
A no-deal Brexit could leave the next prime minister at the mercy of French president Emmanuel Macron, chancellor Philip Hammond has warned.
Hammond said the French would be able to "dial up" or "dial down" at will the queues for goods going into the port of Calais.
He said Paris would be able to exploit the Channel crossing to exert pressure in the same way that the Spanish had used the border with Gibraltar.
Despite spending more than £4 bn on Brexit preparations, Hammond told a BBC Panorama special there would be a limit to the amount of influence the government could exert in the event of no-deal.
Asked if the UK could control Brexit, the chancellor said: "We can't because many of the levers are held by others - the EU27 or private business. We can seek to persuade them but we can't control it.
You may also want to watch:
"For example, we can make sure that goods flow inwards through the port of Dover without any friction but we can't control the outward flow into the port of Calais.
"The French can dial that up or dial it down, just the same as the Spanish for years have dialled up or dialled down the length of the queues at the border going into Gibraltar."
- 1 Empty shelves are partly down to Brexit - but Leavers won't admit it
- 2 The Spanish village with the mythical blue lagoon
- 3 Has something shifted in sado-populist Britain?
- 4 Priti Patel - the poster girl for our poisonous politics
- 5 Ed Vaizey overtakes Paul Dacre in the Ofcom race
- 6 Boris Johnson enjoys splendid isolation
- 7 A very nearly enchanted evening
- 8 Why Bristol is the street art city
- 9 My favourite new Freedom is avoiding selfish anti-maskers
- 10 Would Javid have renamed ICU wards 'Drama Queen Zones'?
Hammond - who said earlier this month that a disorderly Brexit could cost the Exchequer up to £90bn - has long warned against the dangers of leaving without a deal with Brussels.
The chancellor, who has indicated he does not expect to remain in post once there is a new prime minister in No 10, is reported to be at the head of a group of around 30 Tory MPs determined to prevent no-deal.
Britain's Brexit Crisis is due to be screened on Thursday on BBC One.
Become a Supporter
The New European is proud of its journalism and we hope you are proud of it too. We believe our voice is important - both in representing the pro-EU perspective and also to help rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.