Tue. Apr 23rd, 2019

Hammond: No red lines in Brexit talks with Labour

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Chancellor Philip Hammond has said there are “no red lines” in Brexit talks with Labour and that “everything is up for discussion”.

Mr Hammond was speaking in Washington DC where he is attending meetings at the International Monetary Fund.

He told Sky News: “On Brexit what I’ll be telling my colleagues is that the extension that has been agreed and thus the avoidance of a no deal exit later today is a huge plus.

“But of course what we now need to do is get on with delivering Brexit so that we can put the uncertainty behind us and start building Britain’s future.”

Yesterday the IMF’s managing director Christine Lagarde said the the delay to Brexit, at least until 31 October, had helped avoid a “terrible outcome” that would have snowballed across an already fragile global economy.

Ms Lagarde told a news conference: “It gives time for continued discussions between the various parties involved in the UK.”

On Friday Mr Hammond said the idea of a second referendum was likely to be heard again at some point, although it was something the government remained opposed to.

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He said: “It’s a proposition that could and, on all the evidence, is very likely to be put to parliament at some stage.”

The chancellor also dismissed suggestions that costly no-deal preparations were an irresponsible undertaking.

He said: “It would have been irresponsible not to prepare for no deal, so long as it was a real possible outcome.

“Making preparations for events that we hope will not happen is an everyday part of government.

“Just to be clear about this – we spent £4bn so far on preparing for Brexit, but that is not just for a no-deal Brexit – much of that money would need to be spent anyway, putting in place systems to replace EU systems that we’ve been using up to now.”

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Hammond: No red lines in Brexit talks with Labour

Chancellor Philip Hammond has said there are “no red lines” in Brexit talks with Labour and that “everything is up for discussion”. Mr Hammond was speaking in Washington DC where he is attending meetings at the International Monetary Fund.

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