Amber Rudd backtracks on no deal economy warnings but says she's 'not a sellout'

Amber Rudd has backtracked on previous no-deal Brexit comments, saying it's "very difficult to tell" what effect it will have on the economy.

In March the work and pensions secretary had said no deal would cause "generational damage" to the economy, but she now appears to have softened her opinion after joining Boris Johnson's Cabinet.

The minister, who originally backed remain, said a "no-deal Brexit is definitely going to be a challenge to the economy" but did not repeat previous warnings.

She added: "A no-deal Brexit would be far worse than a deal Brexit, which is why the government is so focused on trying to get that.

"But we're also putting in place a lot of preparation to make sure that should it come to that, we will have done all we can to mitigate against any difficulties."

Ms Rudd, who served in Theresa May's government, denied accusations by colleagues that she had sold out her views to retain a Cabinet position.

When asked about being a sell out, she responded: "Everybody has to think very carefully about what they can add to a Cabinet and about what they can support and I'm comfortable with what I've decided to do."

She added: "I'm clear that what we're doing at the moment as a government, which is preparing for Brexit, for October 31, is the right negotiating strategy and the right position for the country."

Asked if she could guarantee that no-one would lose their jobs as a result of a no-deal Brexit, Ms Rudd said: "Listen, there are no guarantees about jobs, in or out, under any economic circumstances.

"What Government has to do is to make it as straightforward and as conducive to good employment arena as possible, and that is what, the statistics show today, we have been able to do."

Despite speculation that the government is preparing for a general election in the autumn Ms Rudd said she is "certainly not planning" for one.

She said: "We have an obligation as a government and every member of Parliament has to try to get on and govern.

"We only had a general election in 2017, I think we should be getting on with what they expect us to do, which is improving the quality of lives of British people."