Jeremy Hunt declares the EU has treated us ‘like dirt’ over Brexit
Jeremy Hunt today accused the EU of treating Britain "like dirt" in a new aggressive attack on Brussels.
The Tory leadership candidate took his "moderate" credentials down a peg as he backed the hardline statement against EU chiefs.
Mr Hunt was responding to a BBC Radio 2 caller who said the EU had "treated us like dirt" after the UK "freed us all from Nazi tyranny and gave us the free world we live in today".
The Foreign Secretary – who is Britain's most senior diplomat – replied: "That's exactly what I feel and I don't think they have shown respect for us at all. But carry on, Julian."
Despite voting Remain in 2016, Mr Hunt also said he would vote Leave if another referendum was held on EU membership, Reuters reported.
The fresh comments could spark fears of an 'arms race' of Brexiteerism as Jeremy Hunt and Boris Johnson ramp up their bid to win over 160,000 Tory members.
Yesterday Boris Johnson declared he will take Britain out of the EU "do or die" on October 31 – even if it's without a deal.
And today Mr Johnson's ally Dominic Raab said he could ignore a vote against No Deal Brexit by MPs, because it'd have "zero legal effect".
Mr Hunt hit back at Mr Johnson last night saying October 31 was a "fake deadline" – and such stubbornness could force a general election.
But Mr Hunt also has a history of appealing to Tory Brexiteers, including comparing the EU to the Soviet Union at the Conservative conference.
And today he rowed back slightly on his comments.
On Jeremy Vine's BBC Radio 2 show, Mr Hunt said: "The phrase maybe I should use is a fake promise.
"I think I am more likely to get us out of the EU by October 31 because I'm a negotiator, I'm an entrepreneur, I have got a business background and negotiation is what I did every day of the week.
"But if we do it in this kind of 'do or die' way, the risk is we will just trip into a general election because Parliament will stop it, as they did in March.
"And then we will have (Jeremy) Corbyn in Downing Street and there'll be no Brexit at all."
Mr Hunt also said he'd leave the EU without a deal if necessary, even though he accepted it would cost jobs.
He said: "I would leave without a deal with a heavy heart because it wouldn't be easy for a lot of businesses, particularly farmers.
"But in the end, if that was the only way to leave, we have to do what people say."
The Tory leadership underdog got himself into several sticky spots on the half-hour phone-in.
He was forced to dodge the same caller's claim that "two of the most corrupt nations on the planet are South Africa and Mexico".
Instead Mr Hunt replied: "Both those countries have problems yes."
And the millionaire – who slurped on a £9 milkshake this morning – lost his cool when host Jeremy Vine branded him the richest man in the Cabinet.
And the MP – who has a sprung dance floor in his home – shared far too much information when speaking of his love for Brazilian dance the Lambada.
He told the BBC: "I have to say that this is a dance for single people – it is an intimate dance – so perhaps not one for married listeners."
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