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What did Philip Hammond’s Budget actually accomplish?

As far as the real problems go, his promised amounts of money are derisory.

When Denis Healey was chancellor, he used to talk of the delight of "Sod Off Day": the day that he would pay off the United Kingdom's loan from the IMF and could tell the Fund to sod off.

And in a way, Philip Hammond's budget yesterday was designed in a similar fashion. Here's £2.8bn more for the NHS: now sod off, Simon Stevens, with your continual demands for more money. Here's £3bn for Brexit contingency planning: now sod off, Leave ultras. Here's £15bn extra in support for housebuilding: now sod off, Conservative MPs elected in 2015 and 2017. And he threw in a cut in stamp duty, increasing the threshold on which it is levied to £300,000, because no one ever went wrong promising Tory MPs tax cuts.

Of course as far as the actual problems go, the amounts are derisory. Neither the amounts heading for the NHS or Brexit planning are adequate to the task, while the stamp duty cut – which the OBR estimates will actually hurt first-time buyers – effectively undoes the very limited progress that the extra £15bn secures.

So, mission accomplished? I suppose it depends on what you think Hammond's mission was. If the Budget's function was to secure Hammond's position, it was an undoubted success – even the Spectator gives it a thumbs up, albeit through gritted teeth, in their leader. "Eeyore no more!" cheers the Daily Mail's splash.

But if the objective is to preserve the United Kingdom as a property-owning democracy and see off Labour at the next election, well, that mission isn't going so well.

Stephen Bush is special correspondent at the New Statesman and the PSA's Journalist of the Year. His daily briefing, Morning Call, provides a quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics.

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Jeremy Corbyn may be a Eurosceptic – but he also wants to defeat the government

The Labour leader's big Brexit speech is likely to spell out a small, but significant change in the party's position.

All eyes are on Labour and its leader's big Brexit speech on Monday.

It's easier at this point to list the Shadow Cabinet ministers who haven't publicly called for the United Kingdom to remain in some form of customs union with the European Union after Brexit - Nia Griffith, the shadow defence secretary, became the latest minister to do so yesterday when she addressed the trade union Prospect. John McDonnell has described the party's position as "evolving". Is Jeremy Corbyn set to follow suit?

Well, sort of. One of the most commonplace mistakes people make at Westminster is to say that Labour's strategy and objectives for Brexit are unclear, but this isn't quite true. The leadership's strategy is to win the next election and its objective is as big a breach from the European Union as it can pull off while doing so.

He might have a new suit and be a dab hand at shareable videos, but underneath it all, Jeremy Corbyn is still the same man who voted against the constitutional underpinnings of the European Union in 2007, who told the New Statesman he hadn't "closed his mind" to backing Brexit. But while Corbyn is a Eurosceptic by instinct, he doesn't have religion on the issue. Foreign policy is his passion project and like most Labour MPs, he doesn't really regard the EU as "proper abroad". He knows, too, that his best opportunities to damage, defeat and ultimately replace the Conservative government will come over Brexit.

There is a concern in the leader's office that Monday's speech is already been overhyped. What I'm reliably informed will happen is a small, but significant change in the party's position that allows the Opposition to explain why it is voting against the government as far as the customs union goes. The real reason, of course, is that Team Corbyn think this is an area where they can defeat the government.

Stephen Bush is special correspondent at the New Statesman and the PSA's Journalist of the Year. His daily briefing, Morning Call, provides a quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics.