'Jeremy Hunt has suggested there is “no trust” in Boris Johnson to fulfil his promises on Brexit, telling the BBC he believes he has the better personality to be prime minister.
Speaking after a war of words with his Conservative leadership rival, whom Hunt branded a coward for turning down a debate with him on Sky News on Tuesday night, Hunt said 31 October was a “fake deadline” and could lead to a snap general election.
He made the comments after Johnson wrote to him asking him to commit to taking the UK out of the EU on 31 October come what may. Hunt said he believed that would be “more likely to trip us into a general election before we’ve delivered Brexit, and that would hand the keys to Jeremy Corbyn and then we’d have no Brexit at all”.
Hunt said he believed a new prime minister would know soon whether a new deal was possible. “If there isn’t and if no deal is still on the table I’ve been very clear. I will leave the European Union without a deal,” he said. “But I’m not going to do that if there’s a prospect of a better deal and if I did it, it would be with a heavy heart, because businesses up and down the country would face a lot of destruction.”
He said he would aim to renegotiate the withdrawal agreement with an alternative arrangement to the Irish backstop, which he said was an approach “not too different to what Boris wants”.
However, he said he believed he had a far greater chance of succeeding in Brussels than Johnson. “Who is the person that we trust to send to Brussels on behalf of the British people and come back with a deal, and that has to be someone that they trust, that they’re prepared to talk to, because in the end you don’t do a deal with someone you don’t trust,” he said.'
Read more: Jeremy Hunt says Boris Johnson can’t be trusted on Brexit
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21 October 2019
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