Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt yesterday said that Britain’s governing Conservative Party would be committing “political suicide” if it tries to force through a no-deal Brexit.
Hunt, who is among the 10 candidates vying to replace the outgoing Theresa May as Britain’s prime minister, said trying to take the UK out of the European Union without a deal would trigger a general election in which the Conservatives risked being “annihilated”.
He said the centre-right party would face an existential threat, with voters who supported staying in the EU defecting to the pro-EU Liberal Democrats and those who supported leaving the EU heading to the Brexit Party.
Hunt said any PM who promised to leave the EU by a specific date, without the time to renegotiate and pass a new deal, would effectively be committing to a general election because parliament would bring down the government.
“Trying to deliver no deal through a general election is not a solution. It is political suicide,” Hunt wrote in The Daily Telegraph newspaper.
Rival leadership candidates, including Boris Johnson and Dominic Raab, have said Britain must be prepared to leave the EU without a deal.
Britain is due to leave the EU on October 31, while the next general election is not due until 2022.