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Hammond won't budget now for a 'no-deal' Brexit: The Times
[LONDON] Britain's finance minister Philip Hammond believes it would be irresponsible to spend taxpayers' money now in preparation for a "no-deal" exit from the European Union, the Times reported.
Mr Hammond will not commit billions of pounds in next month's budget to plan for a hard Brexit, the newspaper said.
He supports contingency planning in case talks collapse. However, with the government trying to secure a negotiated EU exit and with money tight, he is reluctant to approve spending unless the danger is imminent, Times said.
Responding to claims that he is pessimistic in his outlook, the chancellor said he has a duty to be "realistic".
Mr Hammond said in the Times that he needs "to ensure that we are prepared for all outcomes, including a no-deal scenario".
"The government and the Treasury are prepared. We are planning for every outcome and we will find any necessary funding and we will only spend it when it's responsible to do so", he added.