The Remainer said Leave voters must accept there is not a “simple solution” to Brexit as he suggested his own proposals, which would stop Britain from being able to strike free deals independently. Lambasting Brexiteers wishes to strike free trades across the world, Philip Hammond said they would have “very limited” economic potential.
He said : “We all know these trade deals are of very limited potential value and likely to be very hard to negotiate without serious domestic economic and political consequences”.
Mr Hammond, who quit as Chancellor when Boris Johnson became Prime Minister, looked to estimates from the Treasury and the National Institute of Economic and Social Research which found that striking trade deals with English-speaking countries, including the US, would only increase GDP by less than 0.2-0.4 percent by 2030.
He also launched a scathing attack on Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal and said Brexiteers voted for a “smooth and orderly exit”.
He told Daily Telegraph: “People voted for a Brexit with a smooth and orderly exit to a close and special partnership, but the no-deal would deliver the exact opposite of that.
“A no deal Brexit is an act of self-harm, and the threat of self-harm is never a credible negotiating tactic.
“A no-deal Brexit would cause immense damage to the economy and to living standards and I think it would destroy that reputation overnight.”
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It would also include a 12-month “break clause” which would allow Parliament to make the decision to walk away from the deal in just a year.
He added: “This addresses the main criticism by the Brexiteers of the UK-wide backstop while being acceptable to the EU because Northern Ireland remains in the backstop, even if UK were to terminate.”
Northern Ireland would also be put in a separate backstop, under Mr Hammond’s plans, which mirrors ideas proposed by the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier in 2018.
Setting a date for his deal to be approved at January 31, he added: “We can’t enter into this agreement until we leave.
“But there is no reason we can’t agree a detailed text now and sign it immediately when we leave.”
Mr Johnson is to meet Irish leader Leo Varadkar for last-ditch Brexit talks in a bid to break the deadlock as the departure deadline looms and progress with the EU falters.