William Hague: Britain will get a ‘worse Brexit deal’ because of the general election result
Britain will get a “worse deal” in its Brexit negotiations with the European Union as a result of Theresa May’s decision to call an early general election, according to William Hague.
The former Conservative leader said the Tories lost majority had “absolutely” weakened the Government’s negotiating position.
Lord Hague also warned Tory ministers against posturing with a view to the next leadership contest, saying Mrs May was likely to be succeeded by an outsider.
“When I was elected 20 years ago, a few months before I was elected I was 66 to 1 against at the bookies,” he told Radio 5live.
“I was just not thought of six months before as somebody who might turn out to be the leader of the party.
“The next leader of the Conservative Party, whenever that happens, is probably somebody who today is 60 to 1 against at the bookies.
“The most likely person hardly ever gets it; I don’t even know who the most likely person is really, that in itself is quite hard to define.”
Lord Hague added ministers should “concentrate on doing a good job in the job” they are in rather than positioning themselves to be a future leader.
“In fact, the ones who manoeuvre probably will not become the leader and they should get behind Theresa May and help her to do a good job in these exceptionally difficult circumstances of having to deliver Brexit and keep the economy going at the same time without a majority in the House of Commons,” he said.
The peer said the Prime Minister should stay on in her role despite leading a “poor campaign” during the election.
The weakness of the Tories in the House of Commons would affect the deal the Government is able to get in Brexit negotiation talks, he added.
“They (the European Union) know that the result of the British election weakened the British government’s negotiating position. It absolutely did.
“Of course she is not in anything like as strong a position as if she had won a majority of 60 or 100 or whatever it might have been in the House of Commons.
“Britain will get a worse deal as a result of the election. I think there is no question about that.”
Yesterday, Lord Hague said Britain was being given "the runaround" by the European Union in negotiations so far.
He said Brussels was successfully piling pressure on the Government to make concessions as the deadline for quitting the EU approaches.
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