THERESA May has refused to say whether she would vote for Brexit if another EU referendum was held now. The Prime Minister, who campaigned for a Remain vote before the poll in June last year, was put on the spot by the SNP’s Westminster leader Ian Blackford.

His question yesterday followed on from a public Q&A the Tory leader had taken part in the day before, when she was asked three times if she would now vote for Brexit.

May, who has been in charge of the Brexit process for the last 16 months, replied saying only that there would be no second referendum.

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The exchange at Prime Minister’s Question came as the Cabinet split again, over how prepared the UK should be for crashing out of the EU with no deal.

Chancellor Philip Hammond told the Treasury Select Committee he did not intend to spend billions on the infrastructure necessary for a no-deal exit until the last possible minute.

But he said the Government must prepare for the worst-case scenario of a “bad-tempered breakdown”. While it was “conceivable” that failure to agree a deal could mean planes being grounded at UK airports on Brexit, Hammond said nobody “seriously believes that is where we will get to”.

May has often insisted that no deal is better than a bad deal, but a new report from Rabobank, a leading investment bank, warns that failing to strike a trade agreement with Europe would plunge the UK into immediate recession, making each British worker £11,500 poorer.

On Tuesday, European Council president Donald Tusk said the EU had not prepared for a no deal, but warned that if there was insufficient progress in the divorce talks, Brussels might need to think about its negotiating position.

The EU was “negotiating in good faith,” he argued, saying they still hoped that enough progress would have been made in talks before the end of the year.

“However, if it turns out that the talks continue at a slow pace, and that sufficient progress hasn’t been reached, then – together with our UK friends – we will have to think about where we are heading,” Tusk warned.

But Hammond told MPs he was still waiting on progress from Europe, on whether it will agree to the Prime Minister’s proposal for a two-year transition period after Brexit day in March 2019.

“We need our European partners to engage with us, to look at our proposals,” Hammond said, admitting that business leaders had warned a “cloud of uncertainty” was hanging over the UK.

“Our European partners need to think very carefully about the need for speed in order to protect the potential value to all of us of having an interim period that protects our businesses and citizens and allows investment and normal business activity – contracting and so on – to carry on.”

Hammond made clear Britain was preparing for the possibility that no deal would be reached. He added: “We have to consider the possibility of a bad-tempered breakdown in negotiations where we have non-cooperation, or a worst-case scenario where people are not necessarily acting in their own economic self-interest.

“The commitment we have made is that we will be ready with the necessary minimum structures to operate the system on day one. Will everything we will ever need be there on day one? Definitely it won’t. It will build over time.”

However, Hammond said the Government must wait until the “last point” before spending billions of pounds on facilities and staff for a hard customs border.

Later, May announced that £250 million has been allocated to help Whitehall departments prepare for Brexit, including the possibility of no deal being reached.

“We are preparing for every eventuality, we are committing money to prepare for Brexit, including a no-deal scenario,” she told MPs. “And it might be helpful if I update the House – the Treasury has committed more than £250m of new money to departments like Defra, the Home Office, HMRC and DfT (Department for Transport) in this financial year for Brexit preparations.”

May said, regardless of a trans- itional deal, she wanted “an agreement on the future relationship, and our withdrawal by March 2019”.