Ex-Brexit Secretary David Davis: Hammond’s Treasury ‘Actively Prevented Preparation’ for Brexit

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Philip Hammond, the Remain voter who ran Britain’s finance ministry throughout Theresa May’s premiership, “actively prevented preparation” for a No Deal Brexit, according to the country’s first Brexit Secretary.

According to David Davis, the inaugural Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union who walked away from his department over Mrs May’s Chequers strategy for a negotiated settlement with the EU, allegedly pieced together behind his back, ‘Remainer Phil’ tried to use his former position as Chancellor of the Exchequer to make No Deal unviable, by sabotaging efforts to prepare for it.

“[N]o-one else in government has done more to undermine that decision by the people [to leave the European Union] than the ex-Chancellor,” Davis wrote in an article for The Sun.

Davis highlighted how, for example, Hammond had blocked attempts to provide small businesses with information on how to adapt to new customs arrangements if Britain left the EU customs regime as long ago as March 2018 — “So it is a bit rich for the former Chancellor to complain that the United Kingdom is not ready for No Deal when his own department actively prevented preparation” — but added that, “Of course, this was not the only way in which the Treasury — and the Bank of England — acted to undermine our negotiating position.”

Since resigning from the government immediately before Theresa May’s resignation — to deny her successor Boris Johnson the satisfaction of firing him, by most accounts — Hammond has made it clear that he will be supporting the ongoing efforts of EU loyalists in the House of Commons to block Brexit from the backbenches, possibly by trying to oust Johnson as Prime Minister.

Davis warned, in particular, against any temptation Tory Remainers may feel to take hard-left Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn up on his offer to block Brexit if they back a takeover by him as a “caretaker” prime minister.

“Most likely is a blizzard of the sort of socialist nonsense that has done so much to damage our economy in the past… lots of measures whose benefits come today, but whose prices are paid tomorrow,” he predicted.

Davis believes that the short-term benefits of government giveaways would be used by a “temporary” Corbyn administration to win a Labour majority in an early general election, with the negatives of the bubble bursting coming too late to stop him entrenching himself in Downing Street.

“So I say to my Remainer Tory colleagues including Philip, Ken Clarke, Dominic Grieve, Oliver Letwin, and Guto Bebb: Be careful what you wish for,” Davis warned.

“And if you deliver a Corbyn government, do not expect to be a Tory MP after the next election.”

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