Philip Hammond: No-deal Brexit would require new Budget

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Philip Hammond will present his Budget on Monday afternoon

The government will set a new Budget if it is unable to reach a Brexit deal with the EU, the chancellor has said.

Philip Hammond said a no-deal Brexit would require a “different response”, with “fiscal buffers” being maintained to provide support for the economy.

Mr Hammond was speaking on the eve of his Budget, which he will present to the Commons on Monday.

He also hinted at more funds for the universal credit rollout, after claims that millions of homes will lose money.

The spending plans take place at a time of uncertainty over Brexit, with no deal in place five months before the UK’s departure date.

Questioned about the impact of a no-deal Brexit, Mr Hammond told Sky News’ Ridge on Sunday programme: “We would need to look at a different strategy and frankly we’d need to have a new Budget that set out a different strategy for the future.”

Mr Hammond said the Budget forecasts to be used on Monday were based on an “average-type free trade deal” being agreed between the two sides.

But if the UK leaves without a deal, the government would have to “revisit where we are”, he told the BBC’s Marr Show.

The chancellor added: “I have got fiscal reserves that would enable me to intervene.”

Asked about Theresa May’s promise that the austerity era was over, he said there would be more support for public services “once we get a good deal with the EU” and a “smooth exit”.

A deal based on the government’s preferred model – which has been criticised by the EU and some Tory MPs – would “minimise the negative effect” of leaving.

Funding for roads

But Mr Hammond warned he could not say at this stage whether the overall impact would be positive or negative for the UK.

The government has also been under pressure to commit extra funds to the flagship universal credit reform, amid reports that millions of households face losing money under the new system.

Asked about this, Mr Hammond told the BBC’s Marr Show he had used previous Budgets to put money into the project, adding: “When we see things that need addressing, we address them.”

Other expected announcements include a £30bn package for England’s roads, £900m in business rates relief for small business and £650m to rejuvenate high streets.