As Brexit talks continue...
Javid hopeful of EU deal to trigger giveaway Budget
Sajid Javid: awaiting deal to confirm Budget date
Chancellor Sajid Javid is planning a giveaway Budget in the week of 21 October if the UK government pulls off a deal with the EU, according to City sources.
Mr Javid is unable to confirm a date for the annual Budget statement because of the uncertainty over the Brexit talks, but is said to have scope for a possible pre-election boost to taxpayers and the economy.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has insisted he will take Britain out of the EU on 31 October and Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay yesterday said the UK and EU share a “common purpose” in reaching a new withdrawal deal.
It followed a meeting in Brussels with chief EU negotiator Michel Barnier who said it had been a “cordial” meeting, but “lots of work has to be done in the next few days”. On Thursday, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said a new Brexit deal could still be reached by the deadline.
Should a deal be agreed it will still require the backing of parliament and the UK government has now lost its majority.
Mr Javid will be hoping that a deal could command sufficient support to get through the Commons and end years of squabbling.
It will also give some certainty to forecasts from the Office for Budget Responsibility. The Financial Times said this will allow him to cut taxes or increase infrastructure spending.
He would also have scope to borrow more money as it would coincide with a new and looser fiscal framework.
Scottish Finance Secretary Derek Mackay is also awaiting clarification from the UK government in order to set his own Budget due in December.