Cross-party talks between the Conservatives and Labour to resolve the Brexit stalemate are to continue through parliament’s Easter recess, as infighting among senior Tories revealed the divisions still plaguing progress.

The chancellor, Philip Hammond, reportedly ridiculed prominent Tory Brexiteers including Michael Gove and Boris Johnson for engaging in a “suicide pact” during the 2016 Conservative leadership race.

He also accused cabinet colleague Angela Leadsom of “knifing herself”, during the speech on Friday.

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Jeremy Hunt has said continuing Brexit “paralysis” will be “highly damaging” to the UK.

The Foreign Secretary is currently on a visit to Japan, where he is speaking with Japanese businesses about Brexit and the outlook for the UK’s future relationship with Japan.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Mr Hunt said: “We need to know whether we are going to need a trade deal with Japan and what type of trade deal it will be, but I have been meeting with Toyota today, and I’m going on to meet NTT, which is the main Japanese telecom company.

“My message is that, whatever the outcome of Brexit, Britain is going to be the best place in Europe to invest in with our top universities, the best universities in Europe, with more tech start-ups than France, Germany, and Italy combined.”

Mr Hunt added: “It is absolutely clear that Brexit paralysis, if it continues for a long time, will he highly damaging to our international standing.”

Today Theresa May is facing renewed calls to quit and trigger a new leadership contest, with ex-cabinet minister Iain Duncan Smith saying she should stand down as early as next month.

However, it has also been reported some of the PM’s rivals want her to remain in office until autumn if she fails to get her Brexit deal through parliament.

On Monday morning, a row sparked over the weekend when Tottenham MP David Lammy compared pro-Brexit members of the Conservative party with 1930s fascists during an interview, is continuing.


Mr Lammy reiterated his stance when challenged by Jacob Rees-Mogg.


Good morning and welcome to The Independent’s Brexit live blog.

Mr Johnson and pro-Brexit MP Jacob Rees-Mogg have also responded to comments by Labour MP David Lammy in which he said comparing the hard-Brexit European Research Group of Tory MPs to Nazis was “not strong enough”, and said that the Brexit debate had allowed hard right views to flourish in the UK.

Mr Rees-Mogg said he felt “sorry for Mr Lammy”, and that the remarks damaged his reputation. Mr Johnson said it was a “peculiar outburst” and the result of “Brexichosis”.

It has also been claimed that dangerous products including cars and electrical goods could flood the UK after Brexit as EU member states have become increasingly dependent on a European safety enforcement system.

Which? magazine said unless the government reforms existing safeguarding measures, without the EU system the British public will be at risk from the slow identification of unsafe products.

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