Brexit would see Europe ‘lurch very much in the wrong direction’, Philip Hammond warns – Telegraph.co.uk

11 months ago Comments Off on Brexit would see Europe ‘lurch very much in the wrong direction’, Philip Hammond warns – Telegraph.co.uk

Speaking to the BBC’s Andrew Marr show, Mr Hammond said: “What I think I fear and many people in Europe fear is that without Britain Europe would lurch very much in the wrong direction.

“Britain has been an enormously important influence in Europe, an influence for open markets, for free trade, for a less dirigiste approach to running the economy.

“We would be dealing with a Europe that looked very less in our image and I think the thing that we have to remember is that there is a very real fear in Europe that of Britain leaves, the contagion will spread.”

He added: “I think people who say we’d do a great deal with Europe if we left, forget that the countries remaining in the European Union would be looking over their shoulder at people in their own countries saying, ‘if the Britain can do it why can’t we?’.

“They will not have an interest in demonstrating that we can succeed outside the European Union.”

Angela Merkel speaks with British Prime Minister David Cameron

The Prime Minister will travel to a crucial summit in Brussels this week to thrash out a final deal on new terms for Britain’s EU membership, which would then be put to voters in a referendum in June.

Eurosceptics in the Cabinet gace warned they will break ranks and ignore Mr Cameron’s edict to stay silent, if he does not call an emergency Cabinet meeting to set them free next Saturday morning, after the Brussels summit concludes on Friday.

Up to 20 ministers are rumoured to be preparing to back the Leave campaign, including the Cabinet heavyweights Iain Duncan Smith, the Work and Pensions Secretary; Chris Grayling, the leader of the Commons; John Whittingdale, the Culture Secretary; and Priti Patel, employment minister.

 

Brexit would see Europe ‘lurch very much in the wrong direction’, Philip Hammond warns – Telegraph.co.uk