No Deal and Conservative Leadership

I have always been clear that I would prefer to leave the EU with a Withdrawal Agreement. The British people must be able to trust their politicians to deliver on their promises. I will be working hard in Parliament to avoid a no deal exit. While I have no doubt that the UK could thrive in the long-term, I believe that leaving without a deal in the short-term would damage the prospects of those in this country who could least afford it. 
 
I understand concerns about statements made during the Conservative Party leadership contest about the UK leaving on the 31 October whatever the circumstances. The Article 50 process has already been extended on two occasions and I believe that any further extension would, of course, be deeply regrettable. I am confident, however, that the next Prime Minister will secure an exit deal that Conservative MPs can support and avoid such a situation.
 
In the event that the UK does leave the EU without a deal, my ministerial colleagues have been clear that the protection of public services in trade deals, including the NHS, is of the highest importance. The NHS offers a universal service that is free at the point of use. It will never be for sale to the private sector and no trade deal will change these principles.