Brexit Briefing: UK Chancellor Hammond Says Talks Must Be Accelerated

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In a surprisingly forthright attack the CBI said Mr Hammond's speech to the Conservative party conference left business with "slim pickings" and did not face up to the magnitude of the "generation-defining" challenge of leaving the European Union.

- The Pound eased back Monday as United Kingdom finance minister Philip Hammond called for a time-limited Brexit interim period of around two years. He spent most of the first half of his speech talking about the 1970s and Britain as "the sick man of Europe", as well as the political regimes of Cuba, Venezuela and Zimbabwe.

Productivity growth had slowed to a "snail's pace" in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, leading to wages which were "just too low" in many sectors of the economy, said Mr Hammond. "What he's offering them is an illusion, a pretense".

However, he said the Tories must "acknowledge the weariness at the long slog back from Labour's recession" without specifically mentioning austerity.

"I forgot", Mr Hammond smirked as he joined Nick Ferrari from Manchester Central on Monday morning.

The Conservatives must take on and defeat Labour "dinosaurs" in a great "clash of ideas" over the future of capitalism, Philip Hammond has said, adding that activists must expose Jeremy Corbyn's "back to the future socialist fantasy" which was leading people "down a risky path".

The Chancellor will say: "Our economy is not broken: it is fundamentally strong". The pledge will be aimed to counter the fury after plans for rail electrification in the Lake District and the Midlands were scrapped in July along with the modernisation of the Cardiff-Swansea line after massive budget overruns.

Seeking to put the economy center-stage in the Conservatives' pitch to voters, Hammond said Britain could only hope to experience rising living standards "by harnessing the power of the market economy". Marshall repeated a call for a deal allowing the Brexit talks to move on to future trade arrangements by the end of this year.

Hammond made a staunch defence of help-to-buy, despite warnings that the policy is inflating house prices.

'I also think we need to show a bit of leadership, we have to stand up for ourselves in the world and say that we want our country to be a beacon that people in other countries want to come to.

The chancellor announced an extra £10bn in funding to provide loans under the scheme through to 2021, which was briefed to newspapers over the weekend.

"It was a speech that contained more baseless smears on Labour than Tory policy announcements".

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