Published On: Tue, Sep 3rd, 2019

Brexit news: How Hammond joined ‘Cabinet coup’ to leave EU before Treasury bid | UK | News

This morning, Philip Hammond said he is gearing up for the “fight of his life time” against Boris Johnson’s deselection threats and his Government aggression. Mr Hammond is currently leading a group of rebel Remainers to push through a legislation that will stop no deal and force Mr Johnson to request an extension to Article 50. The former Chancellor claimed there were enough Tories to back the cross-party bill, which will be voted on this evening at 9.30pm.

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme: “There’s a group of Conservatives who feel very strongly that now is the time where we have to put the national interest ahead of any threats to us personally and our careers.

“I think there will be enough people for us to get this over the line.”

Following the interview, Political Editor of Sunday Times, Tim Shipman, wrote on Twitter: “I don’t think we’ve ever heard a political interview like Philip Hammond just now.

“Cold fury. A party in full-blown civil war.

“The future of the country now a winner takes all battle to the end.”

If the rebels win the vote, the Government is then expected to put forward a motion for another vote on Wednesday as to whether call a snap election on October 14.

As tension grows, a newly-resurfaced interview shockingly reveals that Mr Hammond was not so opposed to the idea of leaving the EU a few years ago, and arguably paved the way for Brexit.

In 2013 and at the time Defence Secretary, Mr Hammond became the second Cabinet minister, alongside Michael Gove, to say he would vote for Britain to leave the EU if a referendum was to be hold then.

JUST IN: Brexit betrayal: How Hammond ‘destroyed Brexit negotiations TWICE’

However, he told BBC Radio 5live it would have been “defeatist” to leave the bloc without attempting to reform first.

Mr Hammond said: “If the choice is between a European Union written exactly as it is today and not being a part of that then I have to say that I’m on the side of the argument that Michael Gove has put forward [to leave].

“I believe that we have to negotiate a better solution that works better for Britain if we are going to stay in and play a part in the European Union in the future, but let me be absolutely clear: I think it is defeatist to sort of say we want to leave the European Union.

“We should say no, this is a club that we are members of, and before we talk about leaving it, first of all we’re going to try and change the rules and change the way it works and change the objectives that it has in order to make it something that works for Britain.”

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Earlier that week, Mr Gove had become the most senior Conservative to date to publicly contemplate backing Britain’s exit from the EU.

He had told BBC: “I am not happy with our position in the European Union but my preference is for a change in Britain’s relationship with the European Union.

“Life outside would be perfectly tolerable, we could contemplate it, there would be certain advantages.”

During the 2016 referendum campaign, Mr Gove decided to publicly back Brexit, alongside Boris Johnson, and against the wishes of then Prime Minister David Cameron.

Mr Hammond campaigned for Remain.

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