Heseltine says that Hammond is being scapegoated because Brexit is going badly
The staunch Remainer and Conservative Lord has defended the Chancellor who he claims is being “scapegoated” by Brexiteers.
Lord Heseltine even compared Brexit to Marxism.
He said: “Novelist Robert Harris put it perfectly when he said last week: ‘The Brexiteers are sounding increasingly like Marxists: the theory is perfect, it just hasn’t been implemented properly’.
“This is why they are seeking a Treasury scapegoat, as the argument slips away from them.
It comes as Mr Hammond has been under fire for his “obtuse” approach to Brexit and has has been accused plotting to “sabotage Brexit” after having a lobster dinner with the former Chancellor and enemy of Theresa May, George Osborne.
Writing in the Mail on Sunday Lord Heseltine continued: “Mr Hammond has provoked the wrath of these Brexit extremists because – perfectly rationally – he wants to give British companies and foreign investors time to adjust to the new realities of life outside the EU with a sensible transition period of up to three years.
“He also said that he did not want to be bullied into spending our money to prepare for a ‘no deal’ scenario by building lorry parks and other facilities that no one can define, quantify or set in a context – just to supposedly concentrate the mind of the EU negotiators.
“So it has turned into a show trial of Mr Hammond, with my former colleague Nigel Lawson ludicrously describing his actions as ‘close to sabotage’.
“And it was only a week ago the PM was anguishing over sacking Boris Johnson for genuine insubordination in the form of his public rebukes to her over her Brexit policy. Her political weakness means she is being constantly pushed around.”
According to Lord Heseltine, negotiations in Brussels are deadlocked, the commons is poised to reject key parts of enacting legislation and the latest poll shows a bigger majority against Brexit than the 52 per cent vote to Leave last year.
Lord Heseltine added: “It is not difficult to understand the growing anxiety among Brexit supporters about the delays in negotiating the deal.
“They know the time between now and Brexit will bring nothing but bad news for their cause, with a falling pound, inflation and the destabilising economic consequences becoming ever clearer.
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“They dare not risk giving the public a second chance to vote. Every year, the older Brexiteers, who made up the Leave majority, are reduced by natural attrition, to be replaced by younger Remain voters appalled by the damage Brexit threatens to inflict on their future.”
Mr Hammond has been criticised for calling the EU the “enemy” but Lord Heseltine said this is due to pressure from Brexiteers.
He said: “And as his remarks showed on Friday, when he unwisely described the EU as ‘the enemy’, he is not always the perfect diplomat.
“In this case, I suspect he was reacting to all the Brexiteer criticism with a clumsy piece of overcompensation.”
Philip Hammond has been under fire for his “obtuse” approach to Brexit
Lord Heseltine also said that there is a feeling growing across Europe that “they are better off without us – and the sooner we clear off, the better”.
He goes on to say that the younger generation will be betrayed by the older generations who merely voted for “emotional nostalgia”.
Lord Heseltine concluded: “Our younger generation will feel increasingly betrayed by the way their world is being redivided, simply to satisfy the emotional nostalgia of a dying generation.
“It will frighten the millions of British and European citizens stranded on the wrong side of their national borders, trying to pursue careers and enjoy their families in a manner they were encouraged to believe would last a lifetime.
Heseltine says that the a feeling is growing across Europe that they will be better off without us
“All of these people will be frightened, and who can blame them?
“Mr Hammond is rightly doing his best to make the situation less alarming, which is why he should hold on to his job.
“The customs parks they want him to build could become the cemeteries of British trade interests in which the lorries park and wait. And wait…”