Chancellor Sajid Javid sparked speculation of a fresh rift with Boris Johnson last night after declaring his Budget won’t be delayed – just hours after No10 said it could be because of the Brexit impasse.
The PM‘s spokesman said the current scheduled date of November 6 was at risk of being pulled because of the fresh uncertainty over the Brexit deadline.
Chancellor Sajid Javid claims the Brexit hold-up will not delay his November 6 Budget[/caption]
He said the Government would “assess” the date once the EU has decided how long the Brexit extension will last.
Insiders also suggested the November 6 Budget would be delayed because economic forecasts are based on the assumption Britain will leave the EU with a deal.
But last night Mr Javid insisted there would be no change to the current date under any scenario except for a No Deal Brexit.
Under that scenario the Government has said it would push back the Budget by a few weeks.
The Chancellor told ITV’s Peston on Sunday show last night: “There will be a Budget. The Budget’s on track.”
He added: “The only situation there won’t be a Budget is if there were actually a No Deal outcome.”
The Office for Budget Responsibility – the Government’s independent spending watchdog – is basing its forecasts on the basis of the Government delivering a Brexit deal.
The Treasury said the OBR’s assumption of a Brexit deal was not dependent on delivering Brexit by October 31.
But the Prime Minister’s spokesman said: “We are still working towards a scenario of leaving on October 31 with a deal. We would have to assess that closer to the time.”
The Government had already planned to push the Budget back a few weeks under a No Deal scenario and instead hold a briefer ‘economic statement’ before the Brexit date in order to deal with the immediate consequences.
A short Brexit extension of a few weeks is also thought to push the Budget back.
But if the Brexit delay is until January 31 the Government is expected to keep the November 6 date unchanged.
Boris Johnson will access the November 6 date when the EU have decided on the length of a Brexit extension[/caption]