August 25, 2019
Former chancellor Philip Hammond has demanded that Boris Johnson apologise over claims that he and other former ministers had leaked secret documents showing that a no-deal Brexit could lead to food and fuel shortages.
Hammond Tells Johnson To Apologise For Attack On Ex-Ministers Over No-Deal Dossier
Underlining his status as the header of a group of rebel Tory MPs, Hammond wrote to the prime minister to demand that Downing Street disown the attack over the so-called ‘Operation Yellowhammer’ papers.
Hammond pointed out that confidential assessment was dated August 2019 and therefore could not have been released by ministers who had been sacked or resigned as Johnson took over as PM last month.
In his letter, Hammond cited a No.10 source who had said that the dossier had been “deliberately leaked by a former minister in an attempt to influence discussion with EU leaders”.
“I am writing on behalf of all former ministers in the last administration to ask you to withdraw these allegations which question our integrity, acknowledge that no former minister could have leaked this document, and apologise for the misleading briefing from No.10.”It has now become apparent that the Operation Yellowhammer document leaked last week was dated August 2019, and was not ‘old’. My letter to the Prime Minister: pic.twitter.com/RUx9kl34Go— Philip Hammond (@PhilipHammondUK) August 25, 2019The dossier, published by the Sunday Times, had listed a range of worst-case scenarios in a no-deal outcome, including the closure of oil refineries, unrest on the streets, the return of a hard border in Ireland and extensive food and medicine shortages.
No.10 officially stuck to the line that it was “out of date”, but other sources had directly blamed former pro-Remain ministers for seeking to undermine Johnson’s negotiating stance with Brussels.
The PM has himself warned that MPs who try to block no-deal are helping the EU, and last week told Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron that their parliamentary tactics would not alter the fact that the UK was leaving on Octobert 31.
The fresh spat between Hammond and Johnson lays bare the increasing animosity between Downing Street and the group of Conservative MPs who are determined to block any move to take the UK out of the EU without an agreement.
It came as a leaked email published by the Observer suggested that No.10 was looking at the legality of suspending parliament for a new Queen’s Speech on October 17, as part of a bid to bypass plans former minister Dominic Grieve to stop no-deal.
Government sources denied that there was any attempt to prorogue or suspend parliament for five weeks in a bid to run down the clock to exit day on Halloween.Related... Johnson Admits UK-US Trade Deal Won't Be 'Plain Sailing' Boris Johnson Returns Fire At Donald Tusk Over 'Mr No-Deal Brexit' Comment 'Everyone Thinks The Brits Have Gone Crazy': Expats In Europe Reveal Fears Over No-Deal Brexit Donald Trump Promises A "Very Big Trade Deal" With The UK At G7 Summit
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