LONDON, Sept 8 Finance minister Philip Hammond
outlined his views on the current state of Britain's economy to
lawmakers from the upper house of parliament on Thursday.
Below is a selection of his comments:
ON BRITAIN'S RELATIONSHIP WITH EU
"In the immediate aftermath of the referendum, part of the
response was emotional and very extremely emotional in some
cases from some of our European partners."
"There are now far more rational voices looking at the
economics and saying what we must do now, although they would
see it as a sub-optimal outcome, is make the very best we can of
it, and protect our own economies."
"I would argue that logic dictates that that is done by
having the most open possible trade arrangements with the United
GOVERNMENT'S BREXIT STRATEGY
"We do not intend to give a running commentary."
"There's an intrinsic tension here between democratic
accountability of the government and effective negotiation with
a third party. Our paramount objective must be to get a good
deal for Britain. I am afraid will not be achieved by spelling
out (cut off) our negotiating strategy."
EU MUST NOT UNDERMINE LONDON AS FINANCIAL CENTRE
"The structures that we have in London, it's a very complex
ecosystem of banks, funds, insurance companies, law firms,
business services firms (that) could not be replicated anywhere
"And to break it up or try to damage it in the pursuit of
some very narrow and hypothetical national advantage would be a
huge mistake for any of our European Union partners to follow."
"I genuinely believe that London delivers not only for the
UK but for the European Union as a whole."
UNIQUE DEAL FOR BRITAIN WITH EU
"One of the things we have got to get away from here is
talking as if there is only pre-existing model and we have to
use the pre-existing structures, the pre-existing language."
"The UK is not Norway, it's not Switzerland it's not even
Canada. We are the world's 5th largest economy. The arrangements
that we negotiate with the European Union will be bespoke, I
have no doubt whatsoever about that."
"What we most urgently now need to focus on is growing the
productivity performance of the economy in order to support
rising real wages and rising living standards. There is no other
sustainable way to deliver rising living standards on a
sustained basis than growing productivity."
"We consider that a more active approach to industry is
required in order to achieve that objective, including looking
at the remarkable disparity between productivity performance in
London and the south-east and the other parts of our country."
BRITAIN'S GOVERNMENT DEBT PILE
"I would suggest that the level of (public sector net debt)
as a ratio of GDP at the moment - we are getting quite close to
levels that might make a difference to the willingness of
markets to lend to us."
"So I don't think we should be cavalier about the level of
"I ... would hope that in designing a new fiscal stimulus,
any sensible chancellor would seek to do as much as possible
through investment that will not only deliver short-term demand
stimulus but will also address longer-term, structural problems
in the economy."
"I think there is a role for big, strategic projects, but
they are unlikely to be ever able to contribute to fiscal
stimulus because of the timelines involved."
"Often it is modest, rapidly deliverable investments that
can have the most immediate impact, particularly on the road
network, but also in some places on the rail network."
"The comment I made that we would have an opportunity to
reset fiscal policy - I was referring to the fact that as the
prime minister made clear, that we would no longer be seeking to
reach a fiscal surplus in 2019/20."
"Clearly we need to put a new fiscal framework, fiscal rules
in place to guide policy as we move away from that target."
"(Prime Minister Theresa May) said we have not abandoned the
intention to move to a surplus. What I have said is that we will
not target that at the end of this parliament."
"The Treasury will be in a position to deliver a fiscal
response if appropriate on the 23rd of November."
"We share the committee's analysis there needs to be an
increase in the rate of house building, we want to see a
diversity of tenure types available."
"This is not primarily a financing challenge, it's a land
availability challenge that we have to address in order to bring
down house prices to affordable levels on a sustainable basis."
BANK OF ENGLAND RESPONSE TO BREXIT VOTE
"It was the case following the shock of the EU referendum
vote that the Bank was able to move quite quickly with the
monetary policy measure, which I think the evidence suggests has
had some positive effect in restoring calm to markets and a
measure of confidence to the economy."
QUALITY OF HINKLEY POINT NUCLEAR POWER PROPOSALS
"I think it does meet the criteria for a well-designed
transfer of risk in an area where risk has never been
effectively transferred from the buyer to the seller before."
(Reporting by David Milliken, Huw Jones, William Schomberg,
Laura Gardner Cuesta and William Schomberg, compiled by Andy