As published in The Sun:
SO Philip Hammond thinks that a No Deal Brexit would be a betrayal of the decision taken by the British people in the 2016 referendum?
This is a spectacular irony, given that no one else in government has done more to undermine that decision by the people than the ex-Chancellor.
For example, in March 2018 the Treasury stopped the Government briefing small businesses on how to deal with European customs in the event of No Deal.
Had we carried out this briefing, the small business sector would have had a whole year to prepare for No Deal in March 2019?
So it is a bit rich for the former Chancellor to complain that the United Kingdom is not ready for No Deal when his own department actively prevented preparation.
Of course, this was not the only way in which the Treasury — and the Bank of England — acted to undermine our negotiating position.
And they are not alone.
Only this week we have seen any number of shabby little manoeuvres aimed at undermining our Prime Minister and even replacing him in a last desperate bid to stop Brexit ever happening.
We are even seeing former Tory ministers agreeing to have discussions with Jeremy Corbyn, and some even appearing to countenance bringing down the Government and replacing it with one led by Mr Corbyn.
Corbyn himself claims that this will only be temporary, while he negotiates an extension to our membership before having a General Election.
Well, believe that if you will.
In practice the cold, calculating ¬advisers who surround Mr Corbyn know that such action would associate Labour with stopping Brexit in the eyes of their own voters, an action for which they would be severely punished.
So in the event that Parliament puts Mr Corbyn into power, we should expect something different.
Most likely is a blizzard of the sort of socialist nonsense that has done so much to damage our economy in the past.
Typically we would see lots of measures whose benefits come today, but whose prices are paid tomorrow.
The calculation would be that this would get Labour through a General Election before people realise the cost of their actions.
So I say to my Remainer Tory colleagues including Philip, Ken Clarke, Dominic Grieve, Oliver Letwin and Guto Bebb: Be careful what you wish for.
And if you deliver a Corbyn government, do not expect to be a Tory MP after the next election.
There are others, of course, who are plotting to install a “government of national unity”.
Since the overall aim would be to stop Brexit, and thereby betray the people who voted to leave Europe, this would in practice deliver nothing but national disunity.
What is happening is that the Remainers are panicking because they realise that PM Boris Johnson is deadly serious about delivering Brexit on ¬October 31, come hell or high water.
They realise that Boris understands the need for a tough and unflinching negotiating stance to get any sense out of Europe.
They also realise that Boris does not believe the torrent of negative propaganda that we have had in the last year about the dangers of No Deal.
The PM understands that a great and innovative country like the United Kingdom can succeed and prosper ¬without the help of the European ¬Commission.
And he understands — and I have spoken to him at great length about this — that the United Kingdom is much better prepared to deal with all flavours of Brexit than the Government has been willing to admit in the last year.
Just ask any minister in the Brexit department who has had to deal with the 300 projects set up more than two years ago to deliver a good outcome in all circumstances.
But above all, Boris understands that the European powers are far more nervous about No Deal than we need to be.
Their own calculations imply the worst-case outcome may cost us 12,000 jobs, but will cost them 400,000 jobs.
And to put this in context we cut unemployment by 74,000 last year, whereas the European economy is looking distinctly fragile.
Furthermore we will have lots of policy options to help all sectors of our economy once we are free of Europe. They do not.
So Boris should go to the G7 ¬conference — the meeting of the most advanced economies in the world — later this month in a confident mood.
No doubt France’s President Macron will be grandstanding as usual, and the international media will big that up.
But where it matters — in the backroom conversations — we will get a lot of support. America, Canada and Italy will all be onside.
Germany’s Angela Merkel will be working to bridge the gap.
She knows that, distracted by domestic issues, she slipped up when she let the Irish backstop become the dominant issue in the December before last. She will want to put that right.
But, above all, this will be our PM’s first venture on to the international stage since the adoption of our new and more forceful negotiating strategy.
It will be the first step towards the United Kingdom’s new role in the wider world.
It will be a step towards a promising and exciting future, a future that Boris will grasp confidently with both hands.