Conservative leadership: Hunt 'expects' Brexit by Christmas

Hunt 'expects' Brexit by Christmas

Mr Hunt has said that he believes he would be able to get a new deal with Brussels, but if that proved impossible, he would prepare for no deal on October 31, making a judgment on the best course to follow at the end of September.

"I actually think there's quite a difference between Parliament and the public", she said.

But pressed on whether the United Kingdom would be out by Christmas, he said: "I'm not going to give you those commitments".

Asked whether he would be prepared to delay by days, weeks or months, Hunt replied: "Well, it's not going to be months".

But pressed on whether the United Kingdom would be out by Christmas, he said: "I'm not going to give you those commitments".

"Prime ministers should only make promises they know they can deliver".

Mr Johnson has insisted that Brexit must happen by October 31 "come what may", saying the impact of No Deal could be "vanishingly inexpensive" if the United Kingdom prepares properly.

"I'm not going to give you those commitments", Mr Hunt said in the BBC interview.

May did not reveal whether she backs Jeremy Hunt or Boris Johnson as her replacement, saying only that "they understand the responsibility that this job brings".

"They (the EU) need to take. the Irish backstop and they need basically to remit it, to remove it, to delete it", he added.

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"I think that's exactly how it should have been previously as well, after 2016".

The Metropolitan Police said this evening it had opened a criminal investigation into alleged leaking of official communications Mr Darroch.

Another expert, David Collins, professor of worldwide economic law at City, University of London and author of Negotiating Brexit: The Legal Basis for European Union and Global Trade, said it appears as though Boris Johnson is poised to become the new PM as he is generally more well liked by the Conservative Party membership and has been more explicit about how he will respond to Brexit.

But Mrs May conceded she had made mistakes during the campaign, including not appearing in a TV debate with other party leaders, with the then Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, taking part instead.

She said if the future relationship had been negotiated alongside there would not have been the same issue with the backstop.

Former prime minister John Major also said last week he would be prepared to turn to the judiciary if needed to avoid a constitutional crisis. But she was sorry about having to leave when "there was more that I wanted to do".

Mrs May said she had wrongly assumed MPs would be "eager to get Brexit over the line".

Mr Johnson said he did not think it will be necessary to suspend Parliament to drive through a no-deal Brexit against the wishes of British politicians, while refusing to rule it out.

"It had been incredibly frustrating that MPs on either side of the Leave-Remain divide had got so sort of entrenched that they just were not willing to make that compromise that would enable us to get the majority to get this through", May said in a BBC interview in 10 Downing Street on Friday.

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