Conservative leadership: Hunt 'expects' Brexit by Christmas

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SNP MSP George Adam said: "Ruth Davidson's authority is being shredded by the day as more and more of her colleagues ignore her and lend their backing to Boris Johnson, and to a no-deal Brexit that would be a disaster for Scotland".

On other policies, Jeremy Hunt failed to distinguish himself as foreign secretary, and recently come down against the U.S. in relation to the ambassadorial controversy, suggesting that a USA free trade deal would be more problematic under him, said Collins. The 62-year-old senior Conservative Party MP, who took charge as Prime Minister in the wake of David Cameron's resignation after the vote in favour of Brexit in June 2016, admitted she had wrongly assumed MPs would be "eager to get Brexit over the line".

"If we get a deal, it will be on or around 31st October but I can't control what Parliament does and that's why I'm being honest with people", he said.

A spokeswoman for Theresa May said: "The Prime Minister has always been clear that leaving without a deal would be disruptive". "A decision was taken - just get on with it - and they are not in that same polarized way that Parliament has been about this issue".

Mr Hunt has said that he believes he would be able to get a new deal with Brussels, but if that proved impossible, he would prepare for no deal on 31 October, making a judgment on the best course to follow at the end of September.

Mr Hunt went on to say he expected Brexit to happen before Christmas and, when asked if there was any chance the United Kingdom could still go in to 2020 as a member of the European Union, he replied: "I don't believe so, no".

"As we enter the final weeks of the leadership race", they write, "Mr Hunt has failed to close the gap and exploit the perceived "chaotic" start to the Johnson campaign".

The Foreign Secretary maintained prime ministers should "only make promises they know they can deliver".

Johnson has pledged to take Scotland and the rest of the United Kingdom out of the European Union by 31 October "deal or no deal" and "do or die".

Mr Johnson denied that his failure to back British ambassador to the US Kim Darroch prompted the envoy to resign over leaked cables detailing his views of President Donald Trump. "There are other things - I think I probably actually should have done the TV debates".

"I'm not going to give you those commitments", Mr Hunt said in the BBC interview.

Former Tory prime minister Sir John has threatened legal action against any attempt to suspend Parliament in order to prevent MPs blocking a no-deal exit in October.

She also hailed the progress made in tackling some of the "burning injustices" she highlighted in her first speech after becoming prime minister.

"I don't think it will be necessary to do anything like proroguing Parliament", he insisted, but refused to rule it out.

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