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UK's Hammond says UK can cope with no-deal Brexit

Staff Writer |
British finance minister Philip Hammond said on Monday the United Kingdom had the fiscal capacity to cope with leaving the European Union without any agreement but believed the mood in Brussels was to reach a divorce deal.

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Britain's exit from the European Union next March has increased uncertainty for employers, with talks about the future relationship between the world's fifth largest economy and its largest trading partner becoming increasingly fraught.

‘I'm clear that we will have the fiscal capacity to support the British economy if we were unfortunately to find ourselves in a no-deal situation,’ he told Sky News.

However, Hammond said the doubts about the future had already hit the economy and the next few weeks would be crucial in securing an agreement with the EU.

‘The mood is undoubtedly that people want to do a deal with the UK. People want to minimise the disruption of the UK's departure from the European Union, they want to continue having a relationship with us and smooth trading partnership in the future,’ he told BBC TV.

‘Clearly there has been a hit to the economy through the uncertainty the Brexit process has caused. Many businesses are sitting on their hands frankly waiting to see what the outcome of this negotiation is before confirming their investment plans.’

Reassuring businesses they remain at the heart of the centre-right Conservatives Party's plan for the economy will be the focus of Hammond's speech to his party's conference on Monday.

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