Thursday, 24 October, 2019

Former Conservative leader William Hague backs Jeremy Hunt in leadership contest

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Patty Aguilar | 02 July, 2019, 18:45

Writing on Twitter on Monday, Mr Hammond said: "The "fiscal firepower" we have built up in case of a no-deal Brexit will only be available for extra spending if we leave with an orderly transition".

Jeremy Hunt and Boris Johnson, who are competing for the Conservative Party leadership, have both vowed to use a fiscal cushion built up by the government to soften the economic blow from a potentially disruptive Brexit.

The Health Secretary also said he had been reassured by Mr Johnson on his attitude towards business after reports that he said "f*** business" when asked about concerns previous year.

He also announced plans to cancel August leave for Whitehall officials involved in Brexit preparations if necessary.

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. "So what I think people in this country want is to come out as the whole of the United Kingdom, and solve the issues of the backstop in the context of the FTA (free trade agreement) and use the opportunities that Brexit brings us to do things differently".

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Scottish independence and a push for Irish reunification are "real threats" of a no-deal Brexit, International Trade Secretary Liam Fox has said.

The Irish backstop, which formed part of Prime Minister Theresa May's divorce deal from the European Union that parliament rejected three times, is an insurance policy created to prevent the return of a hard border between the Irish Republic and the British province of Northern Ireland.

"Providing we're sensible, and I think the approach that I've laid out is a sensible approach and a fair approach, and I think that it's in Germany's interests as well", he said.

He has also pledged to give a tax cut to people earning more than £50,000 a year, a move which was criticised as benefiting the top 10% of earners and costing a suggested £9 billion.

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