Philip Hammond hints he may vote to bring down a Boris Johnson government as he blasts 'noisy' Brexiteers
Philip Hammond has suggested he could back a vote to bring down a Boris Johnson goverment as he accused "noisy" Brexiteers of attempting to frustrate the negotiations.
The Chancellor said he would not “exclude” the possibility of backing a motion of no-confidence in the likely new Prime Minister if he attempted to force a no-deal through Parliament.
In a scathing interview with the Le Monde and Suddeutsche Zeitung newspapers, Mr Hammond vowed to do “everything in his power” to stop a Brexit outcome that failed to secure “explicit parliamentary approval”.
“There should be a new and sincere attempt to reach a consensus”, he said. “If we do not find a solution with the members, we may have to ask the British to give their opinion again in one form or another.”
On Thursday Mr Hammond rebelled against his party by abstaining on a vote by MPs to block Boris Johnson from suspending Parliament in order to force through a no-deal exit on October 31.
Asked if he would consider lending his support to a motion of no confidence in Mr Johnson if and when he gets into power, the veteran Cabinet minister told the papers: “I do not exclude anything for the moment.”
The frontrunner to replace Theresa May has repeatedly refused to rule-out proroguing Parliament to make sure we exit the EU ahead of the Hallowe’en deadline, but Mr Hammond hit out at such a suggestion.
“In practice, extending the deadline is absolutely necessary,” he said. “Between the summer break, the arrival of the new commission and the change of the British government, it is simply impossible to negotiate anything before October 31.
“If the next government is sincere in its desire to reach an agreement with Europe, it must try to get more time. If it does not, the British Parliament will insist on getting a new postponement.
“I will remain a member of the House of Commons. I will do everything in my power from my position to make sure that parliament blocks a Brexit without agreement.”
And in a blast at Brexiteers within his own party, the senior cabinet minister accused “deliberately noisy, rude and inconsiderate” MPs of attempting to frustrate negotiations.
“Some are trying to make the Europeans so tired that they ask us to leave,” he said. “But please, do not listen to the few noise-makers.”