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Brexit budget – Philip Hammond blasts spending on no-deal scenario as 'irresponsible'

The Chancellor is set to reveal how he will steer the nation’s economy in his Autumn budget on November 22 in the clearest sign yet of how the Treasury will respond to Brexit.

But despite Theresa May’s assurance that her Government is prepared to walk away from the EU without a deal, Mr Hammond has denounced spending on the eventuality – saying it is his job to be “realistic”.

Writing in the Times, he said: “Britain will have a bright future beyond Brexit because the fundamentals of our economy are strong and will serve us well in years to come.

“But to unleash that potential, we must be honest about the near-term challenges and exchequer, it is my duty to be realistic about these challenges, and to carefully navigate the economy through this process in a way that protects our jobs, supports our businesses, underpins the prosperity of working families, and secures our public finances for decades to come.

“We are planning for every outcome and we will find any necessary funding and we will only spend it when it’s responsible to do so.”“I also need to ensure that we are prepared for all outcomes, including a no-deal scenario.

“The government and the Treasury are prepared.

The Chancellor has previously been slammed by hard Brexit backing Conservatives, with some calling for him to be sacked from his position.

Mr Hammond supports a softer business-first approach to leaving the EU, claiming the major issue in Brexit is companies being unsure which direction the nation is heading in.

He added: ”The main challenge is paradoxically simple: it’s uncertainty.

“The uncertainty of what lies beyond March 2019.

“This has impacted businesses up and down the country.

“Investment has slowed as companies wait for clarity about access to markets, goods, labour and services.

“Whilst I have no doubt about our ability to reap the benefits of our strong economy in the years ahead, our immediate priority must be to remove this uncertainty.

“We will do that in two ways.

“First, by securing agreement on a time-limited implementation period — this is vital to give businesses and people the space to prepare for the future.

“Second, by reaching a deal on the terms of our future long-term relationship with the EU.”

Mrs May has come under increasing pressure to sack Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson in recent weeks after he laid out his Brexit red-lines in a supposed challenge to the Prime Minister.

But Tory sources have claimed it is Mr Hammond who should face the chop and not the Brexit backing Foreign Secretary.

MP Nadine Dorries claimed the Chancellor was frustrating Brexit.

She said: “I think Philip Hammond has been deliberately trying to make the Brexit negotiations difficult, stall them, obfuscate the issues.

“I just don’t think he’s been 100 per cent on board.”

Boris supporters echoed the claims, describing him as a “charismatic player” for the PM.

 One ally said: “In a Cabinet full of such dullards, to send your star striker off the field seems a pretty odd thing to even contemplate.

“Boris is a really great charismatic player.

“The same can’t be said of Hammond.”

Another added: “We would love to see her sack Hammond.

"The point is Boris is the one constantly being accused of being disloyal - but actually the one being disloyal is Philip Hammond.”

Source: UK Express

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