London, 21 July 2019 (dpa/MIA) – British Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond told the nation on Sunday he plans to resign from cabinet if – as expected – Boris Johnson is elected to become prime minister next week.
“I’m going to resign,” Hammond, a senior government minister and critic of hardline Brexiteer Johnson, told the BBC’s Andrew Marr.
“Assuming that Boris Johnson becomes the next prime minister, I understand that his conditions for serving in his government would include accepting a no-deal exit on the 31st of October. That is not something I could ever sign up to,” he said.
Britain is currently set to leave the European Union by the extended Halloween deadline but little progress has been made in the negotiations with Brussels.
Prime Minister Theresa May’s hard-won withdrawal deal was repeatedly rejected by British members of parliament, prompting her resignation.
Johnson, who is widely expected to beat his more moderate rival, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, in a party vote to succeed May on Tuesday, has vowed to stick to the deadline even if it means running the risk of an unregulated exit from the bloc.
Hammond said he would tender his resignation to May before she formally steps down on Wednesday.
His comments were met with some shock by interviewer Marr, who said he couldn’t recall another senior British minister announcing his resignation live on television. “A moment, I suppose,” the veteran journalist said.