UK’s Hammond would back national interest over party in any Brexit confidence vote

Philip Hammond MP, Chancellor of the Exchequer appears on BBC TV’s The Andrew Marr Show in London, Britain, May 26, 2019. Jeff Overs/BBC/Handout via REUTERS

LONDON (Reuters) – British finance minister Philip Hammond hinted on Thursday he could vote against the government in a no-confidence showdown if a new prime minister sought to pursue a no-deal Brexit.

Several of the candidates seeking to replace Theresa May have said Britain must leave the European Union at the end of October, with or without a deal, raising the risk that the opposition Labour Party could bring a vote of confidence in the government to prevent it.

“I’ve been in parliament for 22 years and I have never once voted against the Conservative whip so it’s not something I would do lightly or enthusiastically. But I am very clear that the national interest trumps the party interest,” Hammond told Sky News.

“If I am presented with a difficult choice I will act in what I believe is the best interest of this country.”

Reporting by Kate Holton; editing by Guy Faulconbridge

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