Liam Fox has said Jeremy Hunt’s proposed £6 billion war chest to prepare for a no-deal Brexit is “reassuring” and can give the UK credibility during EU negotiations.
The International Trade Secretary told talkRADIO’s Julia Hartley-Brewer that failing to leave would be a “democratic betrayal”.
“If we’re going to actually be able to deliver on a no deal we need to be putting in place all the different levels of preparation to go out, but also if we’re going to be credible with the European Union we need to have those in place,” he said.
“Perhaps the biggest problem we’ve had is that I don’t think our European partners really believed that we would leave without a deal.”
Under Mr Hunt’s no-deal Brexit plan food producers would be bailed out in a similar fashion to the financial services sector in 2008.
The leadership hopeful said: “If we could do it for the bankers in the financial crisis, we can do it for our fishermen, farmers and small businesses now.”
Mr Fox said whoever wins the leadership battle must leave the EU, or it could “shatter our political system”.
“We have to tell the European Union that we want a deal, but equally if we can’t get an acceptable deal we will leave without one,” he said.
He has been backing the Foreign Secretary since the start of June, but said he has not been offered a role in a prospective Hunt cabinet.
“I am very happy to give my support on that basis that I think he’d be the best candidate, not on the basis of any jobs being offered,” he said.
“I’ve always taken the view that if one person is being offered a job than lots of others probably are too.”