Chancellor Philip Hammond says there will be no 'emergency budget'

He vowed the government would do 'whatever is necessary to keep the economy on track'

Ashley Cowburn
Political Correspondent
Thursday 14 July 2016 09:58 BST
Hammond: There will be no emergency budget

Philip Hammond has said there will be no “emergency budget” following Britain’s historic European Union referendum and vowed to do “whatever is necessary to keep the economy on track”.

In his first interview since being appointed to Chancellor in Theresa May’s newly-formed Cabinet, Mr Hammond told ITV’s Good Morning Britain: “There is no plan for an emergency budget, as Theresa May made clear. There will be an Autumn Statement in the normal way and then there will be a Budget in the normal way.

“But the markets do need signals of reassurance; they need to know we will do whatever is necessary to keep the economy on track,” he added.

During the EU referendum campaign the former Chancellor George Osborne joined forces with Alistair Darling, also a former Chancellor, to warn of an ‘emergency budget’ – dubbed the ‘punishment budget’ by opponents – in the event of a Brexit vote. Together they claimed that £15 billion of tax rises and £15 billion of spending cuts would have been needed to make up for a £30 billion “black hole” created by Britain’s exit from the EU.

But Liam Fox, the newly-appointed International Trade Secretary, said at the time of the warning: “A punishment budget would be rejected by both sides of the House of Commons. It would damage the chancellor’s credibility and would be putting his own position in jeopardy.

Mr Hammond also used the interview on Thursday to admit the role of Chancellor is one he has always been keen on, and one he believes will be important as Britain negotiates its exit from the European Union.

Amid reports his predecessor George Osborne, who he previously worked with, was sacked from the role, he said he did not believe the change was a policy decision, but rather one to allow Mrs May to bring together a team to help "reunite" the country.

He told BBC Breakfast: "I worked with George Osborne when we were in Opposition as his shadow chief secretary to the Treasury so it's an area that has always been of great interest to me and I believe is now going to be incredibly important as we move forward from the historic decision that we've made to leave the European Union and try and build on that decision to stabilise our economy and then go forward to build a new future for Britain."

"I think the new Prime Minister has a difficult job to build a team which reunites the party and reunites the country and sends a signal about how we are going to take forward the decision that the British people made on 23rd June and how we are going to do it in a way protects Britain's prosperity and Britain's standing in the world and, by putting her team together in the way she has, she is setting out how she intends to go about this task,” he added.

Mr Hammond also said his successor as Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, would be "very good in this job". Asked for his thoughts of Mr Johnson and the potential differences in their approach to the job, Mr Hammond said it would be “ridiculous to have everybody as clones”.

“We have all got different styles and that is why we make a strong team,” he said.

“We are very different people and when you are building a team for anything you want different kinds of people with different kinds of skills.

“And I think Boris will be very good in this job - Boris is a very big figure in the Conservative Party, he is a big figure in the country, he is a national figure.

“He will be an asset to both the party and the country working as part of a team closely together with the rest of us to make sure we deliver for Britain in the circumstances we find ourselves in.”

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