Hammond says he will be a ‘nightmare’ to Boris Johnson over no-deal Brexit

Philip Hammond on ITV's Peston programme. Photograph: ITV.

Philip Hammond on ITV's Peston programme. Photograph: ITV. - Credit: Archant

Chancellor Philip Hammond has said he will be a 'nightmare' to Boris Johnson over a no-deal Brexit.

Hammond insisted he would use the Commons backbenches to "vigorously" battle any attempt at withdrawing from the EU without a deal.

Asked if he would jump before he was pushed if Johnson takes the Tory crown in two weeks' time, Hammond told ITV's Peston: "My expectation is that I will not be serving in the next administration.

"But, I want to say this because I read some stuff in the papers earlier this week about how I would be a nightmare on the backbenches.

"I will continue to argue vigorously against a no-deal Brexit.


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"And I will certainly do everything I can to prevent a no-deal Brexit without parliamentary approval."

The pointed comments came after Johnson was put on notice to expect a legal battle with former prime minister Sir John Major if he tries to suspend parliament in order to force through a no-deal Brexit.

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Former Conservative leader Sir John said it would be "utterly and totally unacceptable" for any British premier to shut down parliament, and he would seek a judicial review if it happened.

Hammond said: "I think there is a group of members of parliament who feel very, very strongly about this.

"If anyone were foolish enough to try to prorogue Parliament then I'm sure there will be action in the courts.

"We would have to challenge it.

"The idea that elected members of parliament would be locked out of their place of work because they might do their job is truly shocking."

Asked if a no-deal Brexit would be similar to the financial crisis of 2008, the chancellor said: "It could be."

In order to prorogue parliament, shutting it down until the next state opening, a prime minister would have to ask the Queen to formally allow it.

Although the Queen's decision could not be challenged, Sir John said the advice of the prime minister could be.

Hammond's comments follow the suggestion from independent MP Heidi Allen that he is interested in a new Remain initiative set up to stop Brexit.

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