Stakes ‘could not be higher’ as Chancellor commits £2bn to Brexit

The Chancellor says he has put aside £2bn for Brexit preparations and outcomes and hasn’t ruled out the idea of intervening “if the economy needs it” – including making the Spring Statement “a full fiscal event” or, in other words, Budget.

Speaking at this afternoon’s 2018 Budget, Philip Hammond said the government was committed to “building a new future outside the EU”, and with that would come an extra £200m for the British Business Bank to replace European funding that will no longer be available.

Hammond opened his 2018 Budget speech with an update on Brexit. He said: “The stakes could not be higher as we continue negotiations to leave the EU. However, he said, if the negotiators get it right, there will be a “double Brexit dividend” that will be used to boost a spending review to be held in 2019.

The Chancellor also promised that the era of austerity is “finally coming to an end” but that he “retains the firepower to intervene in the economy if it is necessary”.

“We are preparing for every eventuality,” he said.

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