Hypocritical Hammond: I Prepared For No Deal But Boris Mustn’t Be Allowed To mdi-fullscreen

Former Chancellor and perennial Brexit Eeyore Philip Hammond has taken to the airwaves today to warn of the supposedly dire consequences of a clean break from the EU. This is despite him being elected on a manifesto that promised the UK would leave with No Deal if the only alternative was a bad deal. Which, currently, it is.

On Today this morning, Hammond bizarrely doubled down on the notion that he had spent time and money preparing for No Deal, despite the reason for his interview being a big intervention saying such preparation would be damaging and undemocratic. It’s okay when he does it but when it’s Michael Gove and Boris Johnson that’s beyond the pale…

“We were already doing No Deal preparation… we spent £4.2 billion… a large part of it was preparation by the treasury to mitigate the impact on financial services.”

So why does he have a problem with this Government doing the same thing he supposedly did..?

Guido suspects that the reason for the disparity is that Hammond’s ‘preparation’ was purely cosmetic. Last week it was reported that a No Deal planning committee member had revealed that previously “the Treasury was blocking everythingwhereas things are serious now and ten to 15 actions are agreed every day.” Hammond is only upset that now people are actually undertaking the work that he bragged about doing while actually undermining it…

Downing Street sources have hit back hard saying the likes of the former Chancellor “never accepted the referendum result and they fought to overturn it.” Number 10 sources tells the FT that “Hammond and Clarke sabotaged the UK’s preparations to leave. Every day, officials tell us about decisions they took to stop us actually leaving” and The Times that “Everyone knows the ex-chancellor’s real objective was to cancel the referendum result.”

Hammond himself is doing nothing to dampen that analysis, talking up a second referendum again this morning.

“If we can’t resolve this issue in Parliament it will have to be resolved by either a General Election or a second referendum.”

If anyone believes he actually respects the referendum result, Guido has a bridge to sell you…

UPDATE: Guido asked team Hammond if there was any truth to the widely circulating story that the then Chancellor told the Irish that the British Government would never support No Deal during the negotiations that followed the defeat of the first meaningful vote last year. They refused to comment on it…

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