The UK will be forced into a general election that will obliterate the Conservative party if a new leader pushes for the UK to leave the EU with no deal in October, Jeremy Hunt has said.
Having written in a Telegraph article that a no-deal Brexit would be “political suicide”, Hunt said on Tuesday he did not believe parliament would allow the UK to leave with no deal on 31 October and would force an early election.
“I’m making this argument because I want to solve the Brexit crisis we are in and I’m worried if we don’t solve it we will face a political crisis that is far bigger than our legal relationship with the EU; it could lead to the destruction of our party system and the end of my own party,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.
“The biggest risk to Brexit now is not an issue of getting a majority, challenging as that is; the biggest risk is a general election, because the Labour party is now changing its position to a second-referendum party.”
The foreign secretary said he believed the result of a general election would be catastrophic for the Conservatives. “As we’ve learned from the local elections and the European elections, we must not go back to the electorate asking for their mandate until we have delivered what we said we’d deliver last time.”
Hunt, one of the frontrunners for the Tory leadership, who has previously been bullish about a no-deal exit, said he believed it was still possible to renegotiate the withdrawal agreement, despite the EU having said it would not do so. [...]
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