Connect with us


Boris Johnson’s no-deal claim ‘flies in the face of reality’, says Jeremy Hunt | Politics News



Jeremy Hunt has challenged Boris Johnson over his claim that the chance of a no-deal Brexit is “a million-to-one against”, arguing it “flies in the face of reality”.

The foreign secretary accused his Tory leadership rival of getting “some important facts wrong” over the UK’s departure from the EU and called on him to be “straight with people”.

Mr Hunt’s criticism comes as he seek to ramp up pressure on the favourite to go head-to-head in a televised debate.

Hunt looking smug

Hunt v Johnson: Tory rivals battle for No 10

Meanwhile, Mr Johnson has said it would be “folly” to rule out suspending parliament to force through a no deal in defiance of MPs.

The frontrunner said the controversial move – known as proroguing – should remain “an essential tool of our negotiation”.

The men, who are due to attend another party hustings in Exeter on Friday, are battling for the votes of Conservative members in the leadership contest to replace Theresa May and become the next prime minister.

They have both said they would try to renegotiate a deal with the EU.

Mr Johnson insists the UK must leave the EU on 31 October “do or die”, arguing any further postponement of Brexit would “end up eroding trust in politics”.

Mr Hunt has said he would leave without a deal in October if there was no prospect of leaving with one, but has not ruled out a further delay.

Seizing on Mr Johnson’s comments that the chances of a no-deal departure were “a million-to-one against”, Mr Hunt wrote in a letter to his rival: “Those odds are wildly different to those given by those in the business of actually judging the odds (some bookmakers put the chance of No Deal at 2:1), so I fear that this statement flies in the face of reality.”

Britain's Conservative Party members applause Boris Johnson, a leadership candidate for the party
The men are battling for the votes of Conservative Party members

Mr Hunt also tackled Mr Johnson on his disputed claims about trade rules and whether there would be an implementation period in a no-deal scenario.

He wrote: “We must be careful to face the facts as we find them. Will you be straight with people that no deal means no implementation period?”

He added: “Over the past few days you have got some important facts wrong. I believe it is now more vital than ever that we conduct head-to-head debates this week before ballot papers go out.”

Sky News had scheduled a debate for the two candidates to face each other this week, but this was cancelled after Mr Johnson refused to attend.

The candidates are set to face each other at an ITV debate on 9 July and at an event hosted by The Sun newspaper and talkRADIO on 15 July.

However, by that time it is expected many of the the party’s 160,000 members will have already voted.

Jeremy Hunt a leadership candidate
Jeremy Hunt has been criticised for his suggestion that Brexit could be delayed again

Mr Johnson has also gone on the offensive criticising his challenger’s suggestion that the October deadline for Brexit could be shifted again.

He told activists: “Anybody who proposes any further delay is simply going to end up eroding trust in politics, eroding people’s confidence in our democratic institutions further.

“And further weakening out great Conservative Party and our mission to lead this country.

“And it simply won’t work. Kick the can again and we kick the bucket, my friends, that’s the sad reality.”

Advertisement Find your dream job