Philip Hammond Confirms Cabinet Brexit Splits, Swipes At Hard Brexiteers

He said they were "undermining" negotiations.
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Philip Hammond has confirmed cabinet splits over Brexit, and swiped at hard Brexiteers at a committee meeting on Wednesday.

He told the Treasury Select Committee it was “no secret there are different views on how to approach this negotiation” in the cabinet.

In an attack on Tory MPs pushing for a hard Brexit, Hammond said they were “undermining” the prime minister’s negotiating power by prematurely “closing down” options.

“Those that are undermining that effort are those that are seeking to close down that negotiation space, seeking to arrive at hard decisions we don’t need to make at this stage”, he said.

Leave campaign bus
Leave campaign bus
Jack Taylor via Getty Images

In an apparent swipe at Tory MPs Boris Johnson and Michael Gove, the chancellor also criticised promises the Leave campaign had made.

“That’s for others to answer... I didn’t propose to anyone that there would be a substantial fiscal dividend”, he said, on extra cash that Brexit might release.

The Leave campaign infamously promised ÂŁ350m a week for the NHS.

This comes as leaks have revealed growing tensions in the cabinet as it attempts to thrash out a negotiating strategy for exiting the European Union.

On Wednesday Hammond told Theresa May he would not quit the government amid reports of splits, it was reported.

Earlier this week the chancellor faced allegations of trying to “undermine Brexit” by calling for delays to immigration controls.

Reports said the MP was one of a number of voices urging caution on new work permit plans.

Treasury sources dismissed the claims as “rubbish”, while the Theresa May’s spokeswoman said she had “full confidence” in him.

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