NEWS
24/11/2018 11:43 GMT | Updated 24/11/2018 13:14 GMT

Philip Hammond Says Theresa May's Brexit Deal Is Better For The UK Than Staying In The EU

He's also warned that a no-deal Brexit would unleash "economic chaos".

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Philip Hammond 

Philip Hammond has claimed Theresa May’s much-maligned Brexit deal is a better option for the UK than remaining in the EU. 

The chancellor made the comment while appearing on Radio 4’s Today programme, also arguing that the deal will help heal the divisions caused by Brexit. 

“It’s a way of leaving the European Union with minimum negative impact on our economy,” he said.

“Economics is not the only consideration – we also have to look at the political healing process, bringing our country back together because countries that are disunited and divided are not successful countries.

“If we want this country to be successful in the future, we have got to bring it back together after this process.”

When asked directly whether he thought the deal was better than remaining part of the EU, Hammond - who campaigned for Remain before the referendum - said: “I believe so, yes.”

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Theresa May

He also warned that a no-deal Brexit would unleash “economic chaos”, adding: “If the meaningful vote is lost we are in uncharted territory. We will be faced with potential economic chaos; I am sure we would get a very negative reaction from the business community, from investors, from the markets.

He added “we might end up with no deal, we might end up with no Brexit” if the Withdrawal Agreement is blocked by parliament.

Hammond’s comments come as the prime minister prepares to travel to Brussels to hold talks with European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker and European Council president Donald Tusk. 

A summit of EU leaders will follow on Sunday and it’s expected that they will endorse the deal thrashed out between negotiators from the two sides.

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Hammond met with Foster at the DUP conference on Friday

May has faced domestic difficulties, with her relationship with the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) looking increasingly strained as they prepare for their conference in Belfast.

DUP leader Arlene Foster warned that the confidence and supply deal propping up May’s minority administration would have to be “revisited” if her Brexit deal gets through Parliament.

Hammond met with Foster on Friday to discuss the deal, which includes plans for a backstop (here’s our no-nonsense guide on that) to deal with Irish border issues. 

Speaking on Radio 4 this morning, he said: “I hope that the conversations I had last night with Arlene Foster and many of her colleagues, and the ongoing discussions that are happening between the two parties, will lead to a solution.”