January 19, 2018

Theresa May is heading towards a soft Brexit supported by Philip Hammond

04 October 2017, 12:20 | Rodolfo Wallace

Theresa May is heading towards a soft Brexit supported by Philip Hammond

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Speaking at the conference, the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond defended capitalism and said that "the process of negotiating our exit from the European Union has created uncertainty so investment has slowed as businesses wait for clarity".

Labour's leaders, he said, "openly proclaim their ambition to demolish our successful modern market economy and replace it with a back-to-the-future socialist fantasy with hundreds of billions of extra debt for the next generation to pay".

"While no-one suggests a market economy is ideal, it is the best system yet designed for making people steadily better off over time and underpinning strong and sustainable public services for everyone".

The Prime Minister has performed a huge U-turn on university tuition fees in an attempt to woo back voters after they deserted the Tories and flocked to Jeremy Corbyn. "Every country except North Korea, Venezuela, Cuba and Zimbabwe has adopted that system".

The chancellor will contrast his vision for the economy with that of his Labour counterpart, John McDonnell.

Hammond called on companies in the list the investments and improvements that had been deferred because of Brexit and that they're prepared to make once a deal is reached.

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"We saw Labour in the raw, exposed for what it has sadly become: a party taken hostage by a clique of hard-left extremist infiltrators, people who despise Britain's values and talk down our country", Hammond told Conservative Party activists.

"While small firms did not expect detail in a party conference speech, they will want to see progress on each of these areas in the Budget next month and through the announcement of the new Small Business Commissioner".

Business groups welcomed Hammond's defence of free markets, but said the government needed to do much more.

The row is dominating the Conservative Party conference in Manchester, with the British Chamber of Commerce director-general Adam Marshall saying businesses have huge concerns over the "division and disorganisation at the heart of the party of government".

Branding the party "a political version of Jurassic Park", he told delegates: "They say politics is about the clash of ideas, so we say to Corbyn: bring it on".

Hammond will also confirm a 300 million-pound ($400 million) investment to connect cities to the planned HS2 high-speed rail route, reducing travel times between centers such as Liverpool, Manchester, Sheffield, Leeds, York and Leicester.

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