Hammond: No deal Brexit would be a 'betrayal'

PUBLISHED: 07:40 15 January 2019 | UPDATED: 07:40 15 January 2019

Prime Minister Theresa May (C) sits with members of her cabinet including chancellor Phillip Hammond. Photograph: ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images.

Prime Minister Theresa May (C) sits with members of her cabinet including chancellor Phillip Hammond. Photograph: ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images.

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Philip Hammond has argued that leaving the European Union without a deal would be a “betrayal” of the 2016 Brexit vote.

The chancellor told MPs the Leave vote was fought on the “promise of greater prosperity” and said a no-deal Brexit would not deliver that.

Hammond, wrapping up the seventh day of debate on Theresa May’s Brexit deal, also warned extending Article 50 could risk “fuelling populism” in the UK.

He said: “The deal that the Prime Minister has presented to Parliament very clearly is a compromise between the views of people on both sides of this argument, it will not deliver 100% of what anybody wants and the Prime Minister herself has recognised that.

“I believe that the architecture of the Prime Minister’s deal is capable of accommodating such concerns if that is what we as a nation want to do.”

Hammond, speaking in the early hours of Tuesday morning, said renegotiating the withdrawal agreement was now “not deliverable”.

He added: “I feel bound to ensure that we not only deliver Brexit but do so in a way that makes good on the promise of greater prosperity and a no-deal Brexit would not do that and would therefore in my view be seen as every bit as much a betrayal as no Brexit at all.”

“At the other extreme a revocation of Article 50 would indeed be seen as a betrayal and would reinforce disillusion with the political system and would seriously risk fuelling populism at a time when we in this country can least afford it”, he said.

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