Philip Hammond has confirmed the government is putting aside another £3bn for Brexit and will spend more money if necessary.
After setting out the government’s plan not to reverse Brexit, Hammond said he had already put aside £700m for Brexit.
Opening the Autumn Budget 2017, he announced he would set aside another £3bn, and added: “I stand ready to allocate further sums and if and when needed.”
He then said: “This Budget is about much more than Brexit.”
Hammond went on to quote the Office for Budget Responsibility’s latest forecast, which revised down expectations for productivity and growth.
He confirmed the OBR had revised growth downwards in 2017 from the 2 per cent forecast in March, to 1.5 per cent. The OBR expects growth of 1.4 per cent in 2018, 1.3 per cent in 2019 and 2020, 1.5 per cent in 2021 and 1.6 per cent in 2022.
In March, by contrast, the forecast was growth of 1.6 per cent in 2018, 1.7 per cent in 2018 and 1.7 per cent in 2019, before rising to 1.9 per cent in 2020 and 2 per cent in 2021.
Borrowing is expected to fall to the lowest in 20 years by 2022-23, he said.