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

May 30, 2019

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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