United Kingdom minister warns leadership rivals of no-deal Brexit consequences

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Jeremy Hunt could spend £6bn protecting United Kingdom fishing and farming under a no-deal Brexit, comparing it to the bailout of the banks during the financial crisis.

Both candidates have made costly pledges as they vie to replace Theresa May as prime minister.

Both are wooing the largely pro-Brexit Tory grassroots by promising to take Britain out of the European Union - without a divorce deal if necessary - while also cutting taxes and boosting spending on public services and infrastructure projects.

But chancellor of the exchequer Phillip Hammond has warned that all the "headroom" the candidates keep referring to will be needed to plug the hole a no-deal Brexit would inflict on the country.

NFU president Minette Batters said: "While it is reassuring to see that Jeremy Hunt recognises that farmers will be some of the hardest hit by a no-deal Brexit, it remains the case it would be simply catastrophic for British food and farming".

Mr Hunt said he would cancel August leave for civil servants involved in Brexit preparations if necessary.

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"There is as you know about 26 billion quids (pounds) worth of headroom".

Meanwhile Hilary Benn, Labour chairman of the Exiting The European Union Committee, insisted it was still possible to stop the United Kingdom crashing out of the EU, despite an attempt to shut down Government spending in the event of a no-deal Brexit appearing to have stalled. "That no-deal Brexit is not going to be an opportunity for them to successfully turn the screws on our country".

"Then, when we have published our plan for a deal we think we can get through Parliament by the end of August, we will start formal negotiations in September".

The Conservative MP, who is fighting Boris Johnson in the race to Britain's next prime minister, said he would also use an emergency budget to cut corporation tax.

Johnson wants to slash tax for people earning over £50,000 a year - a move that will cost an estimated £9 billion - as well as borrow to fund infrastructure projects.

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