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”.
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.”
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”.
This would mean Britain is forced to follow the rules which govern 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.
Published at Thu, 10 Oct 2019 08:34:00 +0000