Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond is set to launch an attack on the “populist right” and reject that the UK could ever leave the EU in a clean break.
The pro-Remain Chancellor, who pledged to big business that he would stop a ‘no deal’ Brexit, is set to speak at the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) Tuesday evening where he will condemn the “populist Right” for asserting that “the only outcome that counts as a truly legitimate Brexit is to leave with no deal.”
Evoking Project Fear 2.0, the Chancellor will continue, “So to advocate for no deal is to hijack the result of the referendum, and in doing so, knowingly to inflict damage on our economy and living standards, because all the preparation in the world will not avoid the consequences of no deal.”
In the speech seen by PoliticsHome, the Chancellor will acknowledge that Mrs May’s days in Number 10 are numbered if she fails for a fourth time next month to pass the withdrawal treaty and will forebode that a new, pro-Brexit prime minister will “shift[…] towards seeking a damaging no-deal exit as a matter of policy.”
Remainer Chancellor Tells Big Business MPs Will Stop Clean Brexit in Leaked Call https://t.co/mL9RKOLajg
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) January 17, 2019
The resurrection of Project Fear is coming as Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party is set to win the highest number of votes in Thursday’s European Parliament elections while the Tories will experience a crushing defeat — a result which Remainers predict could force Mrs May and the Conservatives to make leaving the EU on WTO terms a viable option again.
For weeks, Mr Farage has said that if the Brexit Party does well, “leaving with no deal is back on the table,” adding, “Mrs May will be gone in a few weeks. We may just get a prime minister, who for fear of the Brexit Party, says, ‘We’re leaving on the 31st, regardless.'”
It is a result anticipated by the pro-EU leader of the Scottish Labour Party Richard Leonard, who admitted on Monday that “if Farage succeeds on Thursday, a no-deal Brexit will become the official policy of the Tory Party and every Tory leadership contender by this time next week.”
If The Brexit Party win these elections next week, leaving with no deal is back on the table. pic.twitter.com/1A1C7nfRq0
— Nigel Farage (@Nigel_Farage) May 17, 2019
The chancellor’s comments also appear to be a pre-emptive attack on Tory Brexiteers who are currently positioning themselves as leadership contenders, notably Boris Johnson, Esther McVey, and Dominic Raab.
Both Mr Raab, who advocates for lowering income tax, and Ms McVey, who launched the Blue Collar Conservative group on Monday, are in the cross-hairs of the progressive-establishment Conservative Party grouping “One Nation” which aims to stop a pro-Brexit MP from taking over the top job in Downing Street.
The group of some 30 anti-Brexit MPs including Amber Rudd, Nicky Morgan, Damian Green, and Sir Nicholas Soames met Monday night to discuss holding hustings with all leadership candidates to assess whether they fit their third-way centrist mould, according to The Times.
The One Nation Conservatives aim to stop the country’s only notionally conservative party from becoming too ‘right-wing,’ and will openly dismiss candidates that fail on measures including the UK’s future relationship with the EU, social justice, action on climate change, and increasing government regulation.