Boris backed by billionaire disaster capitlists

1 Apr 2016
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United Kingdom
How many times must people deny the truth about those who want a hard Brexit because they are betting billions on the demise of the UK.

For the first time in 35 years I am not packing my bag to travel to the Tory party conference tomorrow. The party I joined as a student and first campaigned for in the 1979 general election is suffering a convulsion that makes it — for now at least — unrecognisable to me. Gone is the relaxed, broad-church coalition, united by a belief in free-trade, open markets, fiscal discipline and a fear of the pernicious effects of socialism, but tolerant of a wide range of social and political opinion within its ranks. In its place is an ideological puritanism that brooks no dissent and is more and more strident in its tone.

Boris Johnson asserts, ever more boldly, that we will leave the EU on October 31, “with or without a deal”. But as his sister has reminded us, he is backed by speculators who have bet billions on a hard Brexit — and there is only one outcome that works for them: a crash-out no-deal Brexit that sends the currency tumbling and inflation soaring. So they, at least, will be reassured to see no evidence at all that his government has seriously pursued a deliverable deal; still less that it has been pursuing a deal that could get us out by October 31. The time available means that the only deal with any prospect of delivering that outcome is the deal that they have already rejected and that many of them have voted against.

So let me make an equally stark prediction: we will not be leaving the EU on October 31. And the responsibility for that outcome, like the responsibility for the failure to leave on March 29, lies squarely on the shoulders of those who have rejected the deal that has been on the table for almost a year. The law requires the government to seek an extension if there is no deal by the time of the European Council on October 17-18, and we now know that the Supreme Court will ensure that the government obeys the law.

The radicals advising Boris do not want a deal. Like the Marxists on the Labour left, they see the shock of a disruptive no-deal Brexit as a chance to re-order our economy and society. But I detect no appetite among our electorate for such a project. That is manifestly not the will of the people.

So, is this a counsel of despair? Not at all! We can resolve this crisis — but only via compromise; through a deal which delivers everybody something, but nobody everything. So that, after Brexit, this country can come together to have a brighter future.

Such a deal can be done and must be done. Boris Johnson promised he could get a deal, and he must deliver on that promise before a general election. To fulfil that he will have to accept the inevitability of the Article 50 extension — and then use the time parliament has forced upon him wisely; get rid of the ideologues who seek only the purity of a no-deal Brexit; reconstruct the negotiating team he recklessly disbanded and re-engage the civil servants and diplomats who actually understand this process and will battle tirelessly in Britain’s interest if allowed to do so.

And moderate his language and his demeanour — compromise requires reaching out, not slapping down.

Then a deal can be negotiated over the months of the extension that will take Britain out of the EU with a “smooth and orderly exit” and protect our economy through a “close and special partnership”, both of which we promised in our 2017 election manifesto — and both of which I and my former Conservative colleagues ardently wish for (despite mendacious briefing to the contrary).

When the Conservative Party has delivered an orderly Brexit it will recover its reputation for competent economic management and sound public finances — and then come to its collective senses and reconfirm its mission as a broad-based, centre-right party with wide appeal across the electorate.

I know that we can do it. Indeed, I am already looking forward to packing my bag for Birmingham in October 2020.

Philip Hammond was chancellor of the exchequer from 2016-19
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The head of the civil service has been asked to investigate:

The UK’s most senior civil servant is under pressure to investigate Boris Johnson’s financial backers following cross-party claims that unnamed individuals stand to benefit from the prime minister’s willingness to pursue a no-deal Brexit.

John McDonnell, the shadow chancellor, has written to the cabinet secretary, Sir Mark Sedwill, asking if there may be a conflict of interest in Johnson’s acceptance of support from hedge funds that could gain from an economic shock.
Guto Bebb agrees:

Guto Bebb, a former Tory minister who was thrown out of the party for opposing a no-deal Brexit, said: “The dubious financiers who supported the ‘leave’ campaign and the prime minister’s leadership campaign are betting against Britain.
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