Philip Hammond: No-deal means no cash for leadership rivals

Jul 04, 2019, 00:32
Philip Hammond: No-deal means no cash for leadership rivals

The Conservative MP, who is fighting Boris Johnson in the race to Britain's next prime minister, said he would also use an emergency budget to cut corporation tax.

Both candidates to replace Theresa May as prime minister have said they would oversee a no-deal Brexit if forced to.

Hammond said in March that he had almost 27 billion pounds ($34 billion) in fiscal headroom - equivalent to the difference between the target he has set himself for the budget deficit and the shortfall projected by Britain's budget forecaster.

He said he would decide by September 30 whether to continue with Brexit talks with Brussels or concentrate on a no-deal withdrawal from the EU. "If we can borrow money at low interest rates, so that we can give the country and the British more prosperity in the long run, then we have to do that".

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Mr Hammond's warning came as Mr Hunt announced a £6 billion war chest to handle a no-deal Brexit.

Hunt had previously warned of the dangers a no-deal Brexit would bring, but in a BBC interview he said it could become a policy goal if his plan to renegotiate a departure deal with the European Union - dismissed by Brussels as unrealistic - proved impossible.

Pressed on whether he would be willing to tell businesses across the United Kingdom that they will face a genuine risk of going bust because of a no-deal Brexit, Mr Hunt said: "I would do so but I'd do it with a heavy heart, precisely because of the risks".

"I will mitigate the impact of no deal Brexit on you and step in to help smooth those short-term difficulties".

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Yet, Hunt has stepped up his attempts in recent days to appeal to that constituency by employing more uncompromising rhetoric, saying during an interview over the weekend that, "at the beginning of October, if there is no prospect of a deal that can get through parliament, then I will leave at the end of October because that is our democratic promise to the British people".

More than three years since it voted to leave the EU, Britain is mired in uncertainty over whether it will leave with a deal or not, or even if Brexit will happen at all.

"I will mark my ballot for Jeremy Hunt".

"We spent just over £1 trillion bailing out the banks after the financial crisis".

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Meanwhile, Mr Johnson, who visited a garden centre in Kent on the campaign trail and who is due to hold a "telephone town hall" event this evening, has signalled that he would be prepared to increase borrowing to fund infrastructure projects.

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