Chancellor Philip Hammond has warned that leaving the European Union without a deal would be a betrayal of the people who voted Leave in the dream of a better future. His comments come as pressure grew on British Prime Minister Theresa May to rule out exiting the bloc without an agreement.
Days before the parliament resumes voting on Brexit, business leaders, trade union bosses, and ministers all warned against a ‘no deal’ outcome.
Amber Rudd, the Work and Pensions Secretary, has demanded that MPs get a free vote on a plan to delay Brexit so that a deal can be struck – and three times refused to rule out leaving her post if PM May did not agree.
Richard Harrington, a member of the government and a business minister, even dared the Prime Minister to dismiss him for branding ‘no deal’ a “disaster.”
Despite the pressure, Theresa May is refusing to budge from her position that it is not possible to rule out a no deal without either securing an agreement with the European Union or stopping Brexit.
During a speech at a CBI lunch at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Hammond warned the business leaders that not being able to deliver Brexit would be a “pyrrhic victory” for those who are opposed to the departure of the United Kingdom as it would undermine the political system.
He continued: “Not leaving would be a betrayal…but leaving without a deal would undermine our future prosperity, and would equally represent a betrayal of the promises that were made.”
His remarks came after the Tom Enders, the chief executive of Airbus, slammed the handling of the government of the Brexit negotiations.
He stated: “It is a disgrace that, more than two years after the result of the 2016 referendum, businesses are still unable to plan properly for the future.”
On Thursday, PM May held some meetings with trade union leaders in Downing Street in an attempt to secure support for her Brexit plan, which was turned down in parliament earlier this month.
Len McCluskey, the general secretary of Unite’, described his meeting with the Prime Minister as “probably two and a half years too late.”
Frances O’Grady, the TUC boss, stated: “The PM hasn’t given us the guarantees we need on jobs or workers’ rights. Tweaks aren’t enough – we need substantial change to the whole deal.”