Mr Johnson launched his campaign on Wednesday where he portrayed himself as the man to stop Jeremy Corbyn becoming Prime Minister. Following the launch of his campaign, however, Mr Hammond savaged Mr Johnson at an event in London, arguing that the former Foreign Secretary should not drive the UK towards a Brexit “cliff edge”. Mr Johnson has constantly stated that he intends to take the UK out of the EU by October 31 “with or without a deal”.
But the current Chancellor of the Exchequer has insisted that Mr Johnson should not persist with taking the UK out of the EU by October 31 if that causes a no deal Brexit.
Speaking at Bloomberg’s Sooner Than You Think, Mr Hammond said: “The EU is not likely to be prepared to reopen the withdrawal agreement we have already opened with them.
“I think it will be very difficult, in fact I think it will be impossible, to do this by October 31 and I don’t think it will be in our national interest that we drive towards this cliff-edge at speed.
“The fact we are changing the leader of the Conservative Party and the Prime Minister doesn’t change the basic dynamics of this problem, the parliamentary arithmetic remains exactly the same, the European Union’s position remains exactly the same.
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“They will be very happy to talk to the new PM but they are not going to reopen the withdrawal agreement.”
Following Theresa May’s announcement that she would resign as Prime Minister, Mr Johnson has emerged as the leading candidate to replace the outgoing Prime Minister.
With the UK now past the original March 29 exit date, Mr Johnson insisted that the UK must leave in October in order to prevent the mood of “disillusion” and “despair” in the country from spreading.
Mr Johnson added: “We cannot ignore the morass at Westminster where parties have entered a yellow box junction, unable to move forward or back, while around the country there is a mood of disillusion, even despair, at our ability to get things done.
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“The longer it goes on the worse the risk that there will be serious contamination and loss of confidence, because the people of this country deserve the best from their leader.”
The former Foreign Secretary has amassed support from over 70 MPs as he has become the leading candidate in the race.
Speaking in support for Mr Johnson, Brexit Secretary, Steve Barclay insisted that Mr Johnson is the only man capable of “defeating both Mr Corbyn and Nigel Farage”
Previously, Mr Johnson has also boasted that he is the only candidate who can put Mr Farage “back in his box”.