Ex-Chancellor Philip Hammond Reveals His Plan To Break The Brexit Deadlock

10 October 2019, 11:12 | Updated: 10 October 2019, 12:40

Former Chancellor Philip Hammond told LBC the one way that the UK can solve the Brexit impasse.

Speaking to Nick Ferrari, he said we should leave the political institutions of the European Union, but agree a Free Trade Deal which includes membership of a customs union.

He says that is the only way we can remove the Northern Irish backstop.

Philip Hammond explained how he thinks we can get out of the Brexit mess
Philip Hammond explained how he thinks we can get out of the Brexit mess. Picture: PA / LBC

He said: "The only way to resolve this situation in a way that heals this country where we are so divided is a compromise deal. It's clear that the deal that the government has put on the table is not going to fly.

"We have to recognise that the Europeans' principle concern is around Ireland, so there will have to be a backstop in Northern Ireland.

"That doesn't have to be a problem for us, provided that the rest of the UK has a Free Trade deal with Europe that allows us to have no tariffs and free-flowing trade across our borders, especially between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

"I readily accept that if we have a common customs agreement with the European Union, that will mean that we can't do those third country trade deals that some of my Brexiteer colleagues are so keen on.

"But crucially, this arrangement between Great Britain and the European Union would be a separate treaty which can be terminated by the UK at a point in the future if we decided that it was in our interests to do so.

"Yes, it would stop for now our ambition to do trade deals with third countries, but it would maintain our ability to continue trading with the European Union."