Chancellor Philip Hammond challenged the two rivals to become Britain’s Prime Minister over their spending promises on Monday, warning that walking away from the European Union without a deal would use up the extra money in the budget.
With former London Mayor Boris Johnson and Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt stepping up their campaigns to replace Theresa May, both have turned their attention to how they would run a country which is deeply divided after Britain’s 2016 EU referendum. They have promised to increase spending, particularly on public services, infrastructure and tax cuts, but they also say they are willing to take Britain out of the EU without a deal, an outcome that Hammond said would use up his war chest of almost £27 billion.
Keen to play up his “detailed” plans for both a no deal Brexit and for leaving with an agreement, Hunt said he would try to renegotiate a deal with the EU over the summer and in earnest in September, giving himself a “hard deadline” for the end of September to decide whether he could get an agreement or not.
If not, talks would end and “we will put our heads down and focus on no deal”, he said, adding many Conservatives “don’t want a showman, they don’t want to be entertained, they want a Prime Minister who is going to lead us out of this crisis.”
Johnson, meeting voters, said his plans were carefully costed and the impact of leaving the EU without a deal would be “very, very small”.
The United States and China agreed on Saturday to restart trade talks after President Donald Trump offered concessions including no new tariffs and an easing of restrictions on tech company Huawei in order to reduce tensions with Beijing.
China agreed to make unspecified new purchases of U.S. farm products and return to the negotiating table, Trump said, "no deadline was set for progress on a deal, and the world’s two largest economies remain at odds over significant parts of an agreement."