Britain Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt (Photo by Adrian DENNIS - AFP)

Jeremy Hunt, one of the leading candidates vying to succeed Prime Minister Theresa May, said he would leave the European Union without a deal, but with a heavy heart.

He added that he hoped the bloc would engage with a new British leader.

“Our failure to deliver Brexit has put our country and our party in grave peril.

“The leadership I offer is based on one simple truth: without Brexit, there will be no Conservative government and maybe no Conservative Party.

“If we want a deal, we are going to have to engage seriously with Brussels.

“From my conversations with European leaders, it is clear to me there is a deal to be done, they want us to come up with proposals,” Hunt said.

Hunt, who is foreign secretary, said that with a “more aggressive Russia” and a “more autocratic China”, he would boost defence spending if he became prime minister.

“Peace comes through strength.

“With a more aggressive Russia and a more autocratic China, I pledge to increase the proportion of our GDP we spend on defense,” Hunt said.

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