Published: 11:51, 14 August 2019
| Updated: 10:34, 15 August 2019
Former Chancellor Philip Hammond has detonated a political hand grenade in the direction of Boris Johnson which lays bare the difficulties the government is likely to face if it tries to force through a no-deal Brexit.
He said a no-deal Brexit would be "a betrayal" of the 2016 referendum result.
However, he remains "confident" parliament "has the means" to express its opposition to a no-deal exit.
In a letter, which has been signed by 20 other MPs, including the former business secretary Greg Clark, the Tunbridge Wells MP, the PM is told that he has "set the bar so high that there is no realistic probability of a deal being done".
Mr Hammond alluded to the prospect of congestion on Kent's road network under a no-deal scenario.
The support offered by Greg Clark is not that much of a surprise although he is not a natural rebel.
Before he was replaced he warned that thousands of jobs would be lost under a no-deal Brexit.
All of which has prompted a fresh round of feverish speculation about an election - with bookmakers cutting the odds that we are in for a snap poll.
When, however, is an entirely unpredictable matter.
More by this authorPaul Francis