Published: Sat, March 16, 2019
Markets | By Noel Gibbs

Chancellor insists Brexit deal will help economy and reveals Londonderry talks 'progressing'

Chancellor insists Brexit deal will help economy and reveals Londonderry talks 'progressing'

"And our most urgent task in this House is to lift that uncertainty".

In his Spring Statement, Philip Hammond said the Spending Review will set departmental budgets beyond the NHS and maximise taxpayer's money.

He added though that the "economy itself is remarkably robust".

The growth prediction for 2020 was kept at 1.4%, and the OBR sees an acceleration in the following year.

Hammond said he announced in the Autumn Budget that the "long but necessary squeeze on current public spending would come to and end at the upcoming Spending Review".

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Philip Hammond also said he could free billions of pounds for extra public spending or tax cuts if parliament resolves its Brexit impasse.

Lawmakers were expected to vote later on Wednesday against a leaving the European Union without a transition deal, then vote on Thursday on seeking a delay to Britain's departure, now scheduled for March 29.

Britain will have a £26.6-billion (RM143.92-billion) war chest to battle the potential damage of its exit from the European Union, a government oversight body said.

"I'm confident that we're going to do a deal", Hammond said on Brexit.

British Prime Minister Theresa May stressed on Tuesday that parliament's approval of the withdrawal agreement she has reached with Brussels will deliver a fiscal "Brexit dividend".

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New half-yearly fiscal forecasts showed that Britain's public finances, at least in the short term, were in better shape than in October, when Philip Hammond gave an annual budget statement, despite a weaker outlook for the country's economy.

He warned: "Leaving with no deal would mean significant disruption in the short and medium-term and a smaller, less prosperous economy in the long-term, than if we leave with a deal".

"This is up from £15.4 billion in October, as the fiscal costs of the temporary near-term cyclical weakness of the economy have been swamped by the fiscal gains from higher income tax and lower debt interest spending".

MPs were expected to vote later today against a no-deal Brexit and then vote on Thursday in favour of the government seeking a delay to Britain's departure, now scheduled for March 29.

He said that it was "disappointing" that the chancellor had missed the opportunity to provide desperately-needed funding for local services, and added that Brexit can not be a distraction from the challenges facing our public services.

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You know, if you win the whole thing here, it might change", he said with a smile. "I think I played a very solid match". Two wayward forehands and a double fault from Djokovic helped Kohlschreiber to another break for a 5-2 lead.


Speaking at the Institute for Government, OBR chairman Robert Chote said that even with a deal there could be further uncertainty relating to Brexit.

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