MANCHESTER, England (Reuters) - Finance minister Sajid Javid said on Tuesday there would be a budget this year, the content of which would depend on whether Britain leaves the European Union with a deal or without a deal.
Britain is less than a month away from leaving the EU - a pivotal moment for the world’s fifth largest economy - but there is huge uncertainty about what terms it will exit on and whether it will leave the bloc on time, or even at all.
Javid on Monday set out his economic agenda to the Conservative Party’s annual conference, promising that if there was no exit deal, he would deploy “the full armoury of economic policy” if needed.
On Tuesday, speaking at an Institute of Economic Affairs event on the sidelines of the conference, he was asked if there would be a formal budget statement this year.
“Yes, it will be this year,” he replied, without specifying whether it would be before or after Oct. 31, when Britain is due to leave the EU.
Javid declined to set out any firm plans on taxation or spending, but said he wanted to simplify the tax system and suggested there could also be supply side reforms.
“Of course if it was a ‘no deal’ outcome, which is still a possibility, there would be other action that you’d want to take which would support the economy, and things that we’d only want to consider in a ‘no deal’ situation,” he said.
Reporting by William James, Editing by Kylie MacLellan