Chancellor confirms three-year Spending Review imminent subject to a Brexit deal

Hammond talks up UK economy despite Brexit 'cloud'

The chancellor used the spring statement on Wednesday to say he had accumulated as much as £26.6bn of additional spending power from stronger tax receipts - on the forecasts of the government's independent economics forecaster, the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) - which could be used to boost public services if Brexit passed smoothly.

The OBR also said on Wednesday that the pay of the top 0.1% has been rising considerably faster than the average over the past year or more, which the IFS said was not true for most of the period after 2010.

"This would absorb nearly half the government's current headroom of 1.2 per cent of GDP against the fiscal mandate, as well as making a balanced budget harder to achieve", it added, responding to finance minister Philip Hammond's spring budget statement.

However cumulative growth over the next five years is now expected to be slightly higher than it was at the Budget forecast.

Hammond told lawmakers he could relax his grip on the public finances if they spared Britain the shock of leaving the world's biggest trading bloc without an agreement.

He warned: "Leaving with no deal would mean significant disruption in the short and medium-term and a smaller, less prosperous economy in the long-term, than if we leave with a deal".

In Hammond's speech yesterday, the Treasury's official view on a "disorderly Brexit" were also made clear, during which Hammond said it had the potential to become "a significant blow" to the United Kingdom economy.

Lawmakers were expected to vote later on Wednesday against a leaving the European Union without a transition deal, then vote on Thursday on seeking a delay to Britain's departure, now scheduled for March 29.

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"I'm confident that we're going to do a deal", Hammond said on Brexit.

His statement comes after Parliament overwhelmingly rejected May's Brexit deal for a second time on Tuesday night.

"That is not what the British people voted for in June 2016", he said.

"Higher unemployment; lower wages; higher prices in the shops".

MPs were expected to vote later today against a no-deal Brexit and then vote on Thursday in favour of the government seeking a delay to Britain's departure, now scheduled for March 29.

In his full budget statement in October, Hammond also held out the prospect of higher spending or tax cuts if parliament backed the government's Brexit plan.

Later in the day, the United Kingdom parliament voted down a no-deal Brexit but May warned the legal default in European Union law remains that "the United Kingdom will leave without a deal unless something else is agreed".

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