The looming risk of a no-deal Brexit has forced the UK to continue to restrict public spending and maintain a fiscal "buffer", Chancellor Philip Hammond said in his Budget 2018 speech, which he could unleash in the event a deal is reached.
In his Autumn budget speech, Hammond committed £500m for government department for Brexit preparations, in addition to the £1.5bn already allocated for 2019-20 and the £2.2bn already spent.
It follows a clash in perspective over the weekend between the Chancellor and the Prime Minister over the impact of Brexit on UK fiscal policy.
Hammond had said that an Emergency Budget would be required if the UK leaves the EU without a deal in March 2019, but Downing Street said all of the Budget's spending plans will go ahead as planned regardless of Brexit negotiations.
However, if the UK were to reach a satisfactory exit deal, Hammond said the UK would benefit from a "double deal dividend", with a boost from an end to business uncertainty in the face of Brexit and the opportunity to release the fiscal buffer.
Remains open to existing investors
Chairs first meeting this afternoon
Effective from 1 December
Still 66% women in lower quartile
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