Published: Mon, July 17, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Businesses holding off investment in Britain over Brexit says Hammond

Businesses holding off investment in Britain over Brexit says Hammond

Philip Hammond, Britain's chancellor, has accused hardliners in the cabinet of maliciously briefing against him to undermine his push for a business-friendly exit from the EU.

Asked about the comments allegedly made over female train drivers, in which Mr Hammond allegedly said "even a woman" can now drive a train, the Chancellor said: "No I didn't and I wouldn't say anything like that".

"It is absolutely clear that businesses, where they have discretion over investment, where they can hold off, are doing so and you can understand why", he said.

The Treasury has denied he used the words attributed to him but the report added five sources had attested to the Chancellor using the language.

Chancellor Philip Hammond has blamed Cabinet enemies for leaking his remarks that public sector workers are "overpaid".

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"Cabinet meetings are supposed to be a private space when we are supposed to have serious discussions", Mr Hammond said. I don't think like that.

Ministers have talked of a transitional period after the United Kingdom leaves the European Union to avoid a "cliff edge" scenario, but the length and precise arrangements have yet to be decided.

Global trade secretary Dr Liam Fox yesterday accused those of leaking as having "too much self-indulgence".

Mr Hammond did not give such an explicit denial to the claim in the Sunday Times that he had branded public sector workers "overpaid".

The National says Scotland's Brexit secretary has warned that Theresa May's government is set to use "Tudor-era measures" to decide which responsibilities Holyrood can and cannot be trusted with. I think the public expect us to be disciplined and effective and the only people smiling at this are in Brussels and Paris'.

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"Some of the noise is generated by people who are not happy with the agenda I've tried to advance over the past few weeks", Mr Hammond said.

He said: "This is about the relationship between public and private sector pay and it is a simple fact, independent figures show this, that public sector workers on average are paid about 10% more than private sector workers".

Former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith told Cabinet members engaged in such behavior to "just for once shut up for God's sake" as there is "no mood" among backbench Tories for a leadership contest.

But, ahead of Brexit Secretary David Davis travelling to Brussels on Monday for the next round of exit negotiations, Mr Hammond denied Britain would remain in the single market under a temporary deal.

The row is likely to - and is no doubt meant to - damage Mr Hammond's chances of becoming Prime Minister if Theresa May stands down later this year.

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"I'm not going to talk about what was or wasn't said in a Cabinet meeting and it's easy to quote a phrase out of context", he said.

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