'Two Conservative leadership candidates have said they are ready to take the UK out of the EU without a deal, if the only alternative is halting Brexit.
But neither Sajid Javid nor Jeremy Hunt gave an absolute pledge to quit the EU by the deadline of October 31 this year, though the home secretary said he would do everything in his power to do so
Speaking to Sky News’ Sophy Ridge on Sunday, Mr Javid said: “The policy of any government I lead will be to leave on 31 October. We will do everything in our power to leave on 31 October.
“I will do everything I can to get a deal, but if I have to choose between no deal and no Brexit, I will choose no deal.”
And foreign secretary Mr Hunt told the same programme: “I have always said that if the only way to leave the EU is without a deal, I would do that, because we have to honour that referendum result.
“But I would do so with a heavy heart because of the potential risks to business and to the Union, and I wouldn’t do it if there was a prospect of a good deal.”
Mr Hunt said it was “unwise” for any candidate to pledge to leave by 31 October regardless of whether a deal has been secured - as frontrunner Boris Johnson has done - as this might require calling a general election which would be “catastrophic” for the Tories.
“If you say 31 October is a deadline, come what may, and parliament blocks no deal, the only way to deliver on that promise is to have an election and change parliament, and that would be catastrophic for the Conservative Party,” he said.
He warned Tories against choosing a leader who would take an “ultra-hardline” approach to Brexit, as the EU would take an ultra-hardline stance in response.'
Read more: Brexit news: Tory leadership front-runners say they are prepared to crash out of the EU
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