POLITICS
23/07/2018 14:22 BST

Jeremy Hunt Warns Only Vladimir Putin Would Benefit From A No Deal Brexit

New foreign secretary worries about 'fissure' of UK-EU relations.

Inga Kjer via Getty Images

Jeremy Hunt has said the “only person rejoicing” at the failure to secure a Brexit deal would be Vladimir Putin.

The foreign secretary used a trip to Berlin on Monday to warn there was now a “very real risk of a Brexit no-deal by accident”.

The visit was Hunt’s first overseas trip since taking over from Boris Johnson at the Foreign Office.

He warned that a no-deal Brexit would be “incredibly challenging economically”.

In remarks directed at the EU, Hunt said the UK would however “find a way not just to survive but to thrive economically”.

“My real concern is that it would change British public attitudes to Europe for a generation,” he said.

“It would lead to a fissure in relations which would be highly damaging for that great partnership that we have had for so many years, which has been so important in sustaining the international order.”

Hunt’s comments about the danger of no-deal being reached will also be interpreted as a warning towards those Tory MPs who would rather the UK crash out of the EU without a deal than sign up to a soft Brexit.

Theresa May is expected to hold talks with her Austrian counterpart Sebastian Kurz and other EU leaders at the Salzburg Festival on Friday.

Also this week, May’s de facto deputy David Lidington will travel to Paris while Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab will be in Brussels for talks on Thursday.