Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond issued a fresh warning that leaving the European Union without a deal would damage the UK economy and leave people less well off.
He said Parliament’s rejection of Theresa May’s Brexit deal had created a “cloud of uncertainty” and warned that crashing out would cause “significant disruption.” He urged politicians to rule out a no-deal Brexit in a vote Wednesday evening.
In his Spring Statement, the chancellor unveiled new growth forecasts with the outlook for this year cut from 1.6 percent to 1.2 percent, the weakest since the financial crisis. There was an improved outlook for the public finances, though that’s dependent on the U.K. leaving the EU with a deal. A chaotic exit that would throw his forecasts into disarray.
“Last night’s vote leaves a cloud of uncertainty hanging over our economy,” Hammond told Parliament. “The idea that some readily available fix to avoid the consequences of a no-deal Brexit is just wrong.”
The budget deficit will be lower in the coming years than the Office for Budget Responsibility forecast in October, Hammond said. The growth prediction for 2020 was kept at 1.4 percent, and the OBR sees an acceleration the following year. [...]
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