WATCH Amber Rudd denies she is a ‘sell-out’ after backtracking on no-deal warnings
Amber Rudd has denied she is a “sell-out” after appearing to reverse her warnings about the negative impact of a no-deal Brexit.
The Work and Pensions Secretary has previously been highly critical of the idea of leaving the EU with no agreement in place.
But, speaking to ITV News, she simply said it “will be challenging” for the UK, and refused to repeat comments she made in March that such a scenario would cause “generational damage” to the economy.
On whether unemployment would go up as a result on no-deal Ms Rudd said “we don’t know”, adding: "A no-deal Brexit would be far worse than a deal Brexit, which is why the government is so focused on trying to get that.
"But we're also putting in place a lot of preparation to make sure that should it come to that, we will have done all we can to mitigate against any difficulties."
The minister has been criticised for remaining in her post when Boris Johnson took over, given he made it clear he was willing to push through a no-deal Brexit.
She had previously joined forces with her ex-Cabinet colleagues Greg Clark and David Gauke to try and take such an outcome of the table, both of whom said they would not stay on and serve Mr Johnson.
But she hit back at claims she has U-turned, saying “everyone will launch criticism whatever decision you make”.
Asked if she was a “sell-out”, Ms Rudd said: “No, I don’t think so no.”
She added: "Everybody has to think very carefully about what they can add to a Cabinet and about what they can support and I'm comfortable with what I've decided to do."
And she also refused to repeat her previous claim that enough Tory MPs would be so opposed to a no-deal that they would be able to bring down the Government, simply saying there has been “a lot written” and that we need to “wait and see”.
The minister added: "I'm clear that what we're doing at the moment as a government, which is preparing for Brexit, for October 31, is the right negotiating strategy and the right position for the country."