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Brexit Briefing: UK Chancellor Hammond Says Talks Must Be Accelerated

04 October 2017, 12:20 | Todd Saunders

GETTYThe Labour leader drew crowds during the general election campaign

Jeremy Corbyn

Business leaders today accused Philip Hammond, the chancellor, of doing too little to revive the UK's faltering economy and being "strong on diagnosis but weak on action".

Asked about whether Johnson can be dismissed by Prime Minister Theresa May for his perceived intransigence on Brexit, Hammond said: "I always operate on the principle that everybody is sackable".

Hammond told the conference that Britain would have a "bright future" after Brexit, but would need to be "clear-eyed" about the challenges it brought.

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".

"However, small businesses will be keen to see more detail on these plans, including how they can play their part in building the houses and railways of the future and would hope for more certainty at next month's Budget, and the upcoming Industrial Strategy. Now is not the time for half measures".

She said the government must show young people "that we're listening hard and we're a listening government". "Businesses looking for clear vision and urgent delivery have been left with slim pickings".

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He also told the audience that the election showed that there is a crisis in capitalism and that the unfairness between different generations is "the biggest domestic issue we face". It has moved from the top of the G7 to the bottom. "Today's speech was only one step in that direction".

Contrary to the claims of shadow chancellor John McDonnell, the free market economy remained "the best system yet designed for making people steadily better off" and Britain's economy was "fundamentally strong", said Mr Hammond.

"Elsewhere in the article, Healey says the additional controls - which at this stage would appear to be proposed just for cities rather than the whole country - would be allowing "increases in rents to be moderated" in urban areas" where housing cost pressures are most acute".

"The government's challenge is to be much, much bolder, using the power of its balance sheet to invest and deliver, and signal to the world that the United Kingdom remains a great place to do business for many years to come".

"But instead, after a year in the job, he is continuing down the path of his predecessor and clinging to an old economic model that fails the many".

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