August 14, 2019 / 7:54 AM / in 4 days

British parliament can block no deal Brexit, Hammond says

FILE PHOTO: Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond arrives at the BBC studios in London, Britain, July 21, 2019. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain’s former finance minister, Philip Hammond, said on Wednesday he was confident that parliament could block a no-deal Brexit if unelected people around Prime Minister Boris Johnson tried to force such a disorderly outcome.

Hammond said demands to remove the Irish border backstop were part of a wrecking strategy by unidentified advisers around Johnson that put the United Kingdom on an “inevitable” course towards a no-deal Brexit.

“To set the bar for negotiations so high that we inevitably leave without a deal would be a betrayal,” Hammond told BBC radio. He cast such a demand as “a wrecking tactic” by those who are “pulling the strings” around Johnson in Downing Street.

Hammond said any attempt to bypass parliament would propel the United Kingdom into a constitutional crisis.

“He has to listen to parliament and parliament is clearly opposed to a no-deal exit,” he said. “I am confident that parliament has the means to express that view.”

Reporting by James Davey, writing by Guy Faulconbridge

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