Brexit news: No-deal EU exit ruled out by Philip Hammond on ITV Peston | UK | News


Following Cabinet on Tuesday Theresa May gave a televised address, in which she argued a no deal EU departure is not in the national interest. The Prime Minister suggested Brexit could be delayed again to prevent the UK leaving on April 12. Mr Hammond made his intervention during an interview on the ITV Peston politics show on Wednesday.

He asserted the Government had made a “clear decision” to request another Article 50 extension.

The Chancellor added: “There are different views within the Cabinet about the maximum length of that extension and all of us want it to be as short as possible.

“We made a clear decision that we will not leave next week with no deal insofar as it’s in our power to make that.”

Any Article 50 extension would require the agreement of the other 27 EU member states.

READ MORE: Iain Dale explains how Theresa May could ‘split Conservative Party’

European countries may insist on conditions, such as a second EU membership referendum, in return for an extension.

If they refuse to grant the extra time Britain would leave the EU on April 12 without an exit deal.

Mr Hammond added a no deal Brexit could pose a direct risk to the unity and integrity of the UK, handing an opportunity to nationalist forces in Northern Ireland and Scotland.

He asserted: “I think we’re all acutely conscious of the threat that a no deal Brexit would pose to the union.

READ MORE: EU to demand second referendum to grant extension

“I’m acutely conscious of the threat it would pose to the UK economy, to jobs and businesses across the country.”

Mrs May began talks on Wednesday with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn aimed at avoiding a no deal Brexit.

Two ministers resigned from the Government in protest at the move away from a hard exit.

There is speculation the development could lead to a softer Brexit, with the UK potentially remaining in a customs union with the EU as is Labour Party policy.

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