Hammond warns Johnson against ‘betraying’ referendum with no-deal Brexit
Boris Johnson would commit a betrayal of the referendum if he enacted a no-deal Brexit by listening to the "unelected saboteurs" who "pull the strings" of his Government, former chancellor Philip Hammond has argued.
Mr Hammond, who resigned in anticipation of Mr Johnson becoming Prime Minister, urged the Tory leader to take the UK out of the European with a deal in place.
But he said early signs for that "are not encouraging", warning that demands to abolish the backstop has become a "wrecking" stance over a deal.
"The unelected people who pull the strings of this Government know that this is a demand the EU cannot and will not accede to," the Tory backbencher wrote in The Times on Wednesday.
Mr Hammond said he was busting two "great myths" over a no-deal Brexit, arguing it will be damaging to the nation – both economically and to the union – and that voters do not back the move.
"Most people in this country want to see us leave in a smooth and orderly fashion that will not disrupt lives, cost jobs or diminish living standards, whether they voted Leave or Remain in 2016," he wrote.
"Parliament faithfully reflects the view of that majority and it will make its voice heard. No-deal would be a betrayal of the 2016 referendum result. It must not happen."