Brexit deal best available option to safeguard British economy, says Finance Minister Phillip Hammond


The Brexit deal to leave the European Union is the best available solution to safeguard the economy and start to reunite a divided country, finance minister Philip Hammond said on Saturday.

Prime Minister Theresa May is expected to meet EU leaders on Sunday in Brussels to sign off on the deal amid objections from Spain over Gibraltar which could derail the plans.

“This deal is a way of Britain leaving the European Union … with minimum negative impact on our economy,” Hammond told the BBC.

“The only thing that is holding the economy back at the moment is uncertainty about our relationship with the European Union,” he added.

“If we were to leave the EU without a deal I have no doubt that the consequences for the economy would be very serious indeed, very disruptive and very negative for jobs, for prosperity in the future.”

“Remaining in the EU after a clear referendum decision to leave EU would be utterly debilitating to our politics, it would completely undermine confidence in the political system and leave large numbers of people feeling betrayed,” he said.

“We also have to look at the political healing process, bringing our country back together, because (…) countries that are disunited and divided are not successful countries,” he said.

Earlier, Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab quit over the proposed European Union withdrawal, Al Jazeera reported.

“I regret to say that, following the Cabinet meeting yesterday on the Brexit deal, I must resign,” Raab had said.

May’s plan threatened the integrity of the United Kingdom, he said.

“I cannot reconcile the terms of the proposed deal with the promises we made to the country in our manifesto at the last election. This is, at its heart, a matter of public trust,” he said in his resignation letter, on his Twitter account.

May had secured the backing of her cabinet for the draft agreement in mid-November, after a five-hour meeting.


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