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‘I don’t care what No 10 says!’ – Philip Hammond dismisses Johnson’s threat as ‘bravado’

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Daily Express :: UK Feed 

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Confronted by Sky News’ Adam Boulton on the possibility of the Government’s to avoid having to ask the EU for a Brexit extension, the former Tory frontbencher blasted he does not care about what they say in Downing Street. Mr Hammonddismissed reports Boris Johnson is planning to circumvent what he calls the Surrender Act as “bravado”.

He said: “I don’t care what they’re saying in Downing Street.

“This is bravado.

“There is no way around the Benn Act. All the top legal authorities are clear there is no way around the Benn Act.

“The Prime Minister has given assurance in the Scottish courts that he will deliver his obligation.”

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Mr Hammond, who quit as Chancellor when Boris Johnson became Prime Minister, outlined his Brexit proposals to resolve the current political impasse and claimed Brexiteers should give up on their dream to trade with the rest of the world. 

He looked to estimates from the Treasury and the National Institute of Economic and Social Research which found that striking trade deals with English-speaking countries, including the US, would only increase GDP by less than 0.2-0.4 percent by 2030.

He said: “We all know these trade deals are of very limited potential value and likely to be very hard to negotiate without serious domestic economic and political consequences”.

He also launched a scathing attack on Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal and said Brexiteers voted for a “smooth and orderly exit”.

He told Daily Telegraph: “People voted for a Brexit with a smooth and orderly exit to a close and special partnership, but the no-deal would deliver the exact opposite of that.

“A no deal Brexit is an act of self-harm, and the threat of self-harm is never a credible negotiating tactic.

“A no deal Brexit would cause immense damage to the economy and to living standards and I think it would destroy that reputation overnight.”

Instead Mr Hammond, who lost the party whip when he backed the Benn Act last month, urged Brussels to agree on a zero-tariff trade deal which would scrap the need for a Irish backstop.

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This would mean Britain is forced to follow the rules which governs the EU’s single market for goods and “level playing field” rules on social, environmental and state aid regulations.

Mr Hammond said this would result in low-friction regulatory borders and no customs borders at Dover-Calais and the Irish Sea.

It would also include a 12-month “break clause” which would allow Parliament to make the decision to walk away from the deal in just a year.

He added: “This addresses the main criticism by the Brexiteers of the UK-wide backstop while being acceptable to the EU because Northern Ireland remains in the backstop, even if UK were to terminate.”

Northern Ireland would also be put in a separate backstop, under Mr Hammond’s plans, which mirrors ideas proposed by the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier in 2018.

‘I don’t care what No 10 says!’ – Philip Hammond dismisses Johnson’s threat as ‘bravado’

Confronted by Sky News’ Adam Boulton on the possibility of the Government to avoid asking the EU for a Brexit extension, the former Tory frontbencher blasted he does not care about what they say in Downing Street. Mr Hammond dismissed reports Boris Johnson is planning to circumvent what he calls the Surrender Act as “bravado”.

Confronted by Sky News’ Adam Boulton on the possibility of the Government’s to avoid having to ask the EU for a Brexit extension, the former Tory frontbencher blasted he does not care about what they say in Downing Street. Mr Hammond dismissed reports Boris Johnson is planning to circumvent what he calls the Surrender Act as “bravado”.

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