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Philip Hammond plans to quit if Johnson becomes PM



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Media caption Philip Hammond: 'All the polling suggest Boris Johnson will win … and I am making my plans accordingly'

Philip Hammond has told the BBC he intends to resign as chancellor if Boris Johnson becomes the UK's next PM.

He said no-deal Brexit, something Mr. Johnson has left open as an option, was "not something I could ever sign up to".

Asked if he thought he would be sacked next week, Mr Hammond said he would resign on Wednesday to Theresa May.

He said he intends to quit after Prime Minister's questions but before Mrs May steps down.

Speaking on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show, Mr. Hammond said it was important the next PM and his chancellor were "closely aligned" on Brexit policy.

He said the situation "might be more complicated" if Jeremy Hunt wins the Tory leadership contest, but "all the polling" suggested Mr Johnson would succeed.

"That is what is likely to happen, and I'm making my plans accordingly", he said, adding he would wait until the result was announced on Tuesday to "see for sure".

Mr Johnson has the UK to leave the EU by the new Brexit deadline of October 31

, "do or die, may what."

Mr Hammond said he understood committing to leave this date, even with no deal , would be a condition for serving in Mr Johnson's cabinet.

He said: "That is not something I could ever sign up to. It's very important that a prime minister is able to have a chancellor who is closely aligned with him in terms of policy".

He added that Jeremy Hunt's position regarding a no-deal Brexit was "more nuanced", and he had not demanded a "loyalty pledge" on the exit date from prospective ministers.

Mr Hammond said he would support either his pursuit of a new Brexit deal, but it would not be possible to agree this before the end of October.

"A genuine pursuit of a deal will require a little longer", he added.

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Image caption

Either Jeremy Hunt (l) or Boris Johnson (r) will become PM next week
                

Mr Hammond has been a prominent critic of the idea of ​​a no-deal Brexit, recently indicating he may vote to bring down the next PM to a scenario.

He had said he could "not exclude anything" when asked whether he would back a motion or no-confidence in the government.

Asked whether it would vote against the next PM in a vote of no confidence, he said: "I don't think it will get to that"

"I am confident that Parliament does have a way of preventing a no-deal exit on October 31 without parliamentary consent ".

" I intend to work with others to ensure Parliament uses its power to make sure that the new government can't do that, "he added.

Earlier, Justice Secretary David Gauke reiterated his intentions to resign from government should the next prime minister pursue a no-deal Brexit.

Mr Gauke told the Sunday Times: "If the test of loyalty to stay in the cabinet is a commitment to support no-deal on October 31 – which, to be fair to him, Boris has consistently said – then that's not something I'm prepared to sign up to.

Meanwhile, the Irish Deputy Prime Minister said the Irish Republic would have "no choice" but to protect its place in the EU single market if the UK forces a no-deal Brexit on everybody else.

Also speaking on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show, Simon Coveney warned that the incoming Conservative Prime Minister chose to "tear up" the Brexit withdrawal deal, then "we're in trouble".

"That's a little bit like saying," Give me what I want or I'm going to burn the house down for everybody ".

Some 160,000 Conservative Party members are voting in a postal ballot to elect the next leader

Ballots must be returned at 17:00 BST on Monday, with the winner of the contest due to be announced on Tuesday.


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