Monday, 17 October 2016

The Guardian: Philip Hammond 'not a lone voice' of caution on Brexit

The Guardian: Philip Hammond 'not a lone voice' of caution on Brexit

Several cabinet members have aligned themselves with Philip Hammond in cautioning against the risks of a “hard Brexit,” including the business secretary, Greg Clark, and the work and pensions secretary, Damian Green.

The Chancellor has been accused by ministers who supported Brexit before the referendum of attempting to undermine the process, in particular through urging a delay on migration curbs amid fears of the impact if Britain loosens its economic ties with the EU too dramatically.

But Whitehall sources have confirmed that Hammond is not a “lone voice” inside government with several other cabinet figures, who supported the remain campaign also calling on the prime minister to keep open the possibility of close economic ties with the EU.

Clark and Green are both on May’s Brexit committee but other senior colleagues, including the education secretary, Justine Greening, are also thought to be supportive of Hammond’s stance, which is focused on maintaining as much access as possible to the single market as the UK quits the EU.

Amber Rudd, the home secretary, who is drawing up proposals for immigration controls but was an enthusiastic supporter of the EU before the June referendum, has made arguments in cabinet discussions supporting the chancellor.

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