Published: Sat, March 16, 2019
Money | By Ralph Mccoy

OBR lowers forecast for United Kingdom oil and gas revenues

OBR lowers forecast for United Kingdom oil and gas revenues

And, in many respects, the word "if" was the most significant of all in a setpiece speech which warned of significant repercussions if there is a no-deal Brexit.

The thinktank also warned that it could not determine whether austerity was ending and public services moving "decisively upwards after almost a decade of unprecedented cuts" until the conclusion of the chancellor's spending review, which will be unveiled alongside the autumn budget later this year.

Notwithstanding sluggish growth around the world, Britain is expanding faster than Germany and our public finances are improving. A chaotic exit that would throw his forecasts into disarray. "The idea that some readily available fix to avoid the consequences of a no-deal Brexit is just wrong".

Philip Hammond referred to the British economy as "remarkably robust" during today's Spring Statement.

In documents released alongside Chancellor Philip Hammond's Spring Statement, the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) said growth in the United Kingdom and global economies had slowed since October's Budget, leading to a downgrade in its short-term forecasts.

Mr Hammond added that the United Kingdom economy was expected to grow by 1.4 per cent in 2020, unchanged from the government's October forecast.

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This is after parliament on Tuesday overwhelmingly rejected the country's draft Brexit divorce agreement with Brussels.

Lawmakers are expected to rule out a no-deal departure - a scenario the PM herself accepts would "damage" the United Kingdom - in a vote later yesterday.

Its efforts will be helped by extra money if it keeps to a budget deficit below two per cent of gross domestic product in 2020-2021, the Office of Budget Responsibility, which the government tasks with reviewing its budgets, said late yesterday.

With the Brexit deadline approaching on March 29 and no deal reached over the UK's departure, the government is stepping up economic contingency plans.

Britain will avoid imposing tariffs on most imported goods in the event of a no-deal Brexit, though officials said prices of key European Union products including beef, cheese and cars will rise.

It echoed last month's sentiments from the Bank of England, which warned Brexit uncertainty is set to see growth slump to its lowest level for 10 years in 2019. "And when we do, the British people will fully expect us to fire-up our economic plan, to seize the opportunities as confidence in our economy returns".

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