Sajid Javid 'tells Philip Hammond' to slash taxes if there's a no-deal Brexit

Posted On: 
16th September 2018

Sajid Javid has reportedly urged the Treasury to cut taxes and slash regulations if Britain and the European Union fail to strike a Brexit deal.

The Home Secretary is frequently tipped as a future Conservative leader
Credit: 
PA

The Home Secretary - tipped as a future Tory leader - is said to have told a specially-convened Cabinet session last week that ministers should offer a string of free-market policies in a bid to prevent a no-deal downturn.

According to the Sunday Times, Mr Javid set out a "huge shopping list" of economic policies for no-deal - including major tax cuts and a bonfire of regulations covering workers' rights and the environment.

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One minister told the paper: "He referred to it as a shock-and-awe strategy."

Another said: "It was a classic pro-growth, pro-enterprise Tory policy list. There is a lot you can do to get businesses investing and growing."

The intervention is likely to be welcomed by Brexiteers in the Conservative party, who have long argued that a no-deal outcome will present opportunities to remodel the British economy.

It comes as Chancellor Philip Hammond - who has repeatedly warned about the economic effects of leaving without a deal - is reported to have been slapped down by colleagues over a suggestion ministers could delay Brexit.

Mr Hammond is said to have told Cabinet colleagues that Article 50 should be extended beyond the original March 2019 deadline in a bid to allow key Brexit legislation to make its way through the Commons.

But a minister present at the meeting told the Sunday Times: "There was a collective groan from everyone around the table. It’s unbelievable that he could be so politically naive."

BUDGET BATTLE

Mr Hammond is meanwhile reported to be battling officials in his own department over his attempts to hold the Autumn Budget as early as possible to avoid it becoming dominated by Conservative Brexit infighting.

A source told the Mail on Sunday: "Philip wants to get it done as soon as possible. November is going to be bloody, and the last thing he wants is to become a proxy for the Chequers rows."

According to the paper, Mr Hammond wants to time the set-piece economic update for early October to allow legislation to pass before a decisive Brexit summit at the end of the month.

But civil servants are said to be pressing for a late November slot for the Budget.