Hunt pledges £6bn war chest to cope with no-deal Brexit

Jeremy Hunt and Boris Johnson are in a head to head contest to be Tory leader

Jeremy Hunt and Boris Johnson are in a head to head contest to be Tory leader Credit AFP

Boris Johnson, the favorite to become Britain's next prime minister, said on Monday the impact of leaving the European Union without a deal would be "very, very small", and added that he had a very carefully costed program of spending plans.

Jeremy Hunt has pledged to create a £6 billion war chest to handle a no-deal Brexit.

"The difference is: who is the person who is most likely to get a deal before we get to that point so we don't have to make that very, very hard decision?"

Jeremy Hunt and Boris Johnson, who are competing for the Conservative Party leadership, have both vowed to use a fiscal cushion built up by the government to soften the economic blow from a potentially disruptive Brexit.

He stressed he would prefer the United Kingdom to leave the European Union with a "new deal" that removes the Irish backstop and ensures a fully independent trade policy, which he said is possible "if the Commission engages in good faith".

Many will naturally see Hunt's announcement as an attempt to outdo his Tory party rival and Brexiteer-in-chief, Boris Johnson. We're both saying that we don't want it but if it's the only way to deliver Brexit we'd do it. "If we could do it for the bankers in the financial crisis, we can do it for our fishermen, farmers and small businesses now".

Mr Hunt will set out a 10-point plan, including a Cobra-style committee to "turbocharge" Whitehall preparations and keep Britain open for business in the event of World Trade Organisation (WTO) tariffs coming into effect.

Now the favorite against Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, Johnson said the government had not spent enough on public services such as education in recent years and needed to increase spending and cut tax rates to spur economic growth.

"That's also not the way we work together".

He told the Sunday Times: "People in the public sector need to be properly rewarded for the brilliant job they do".

"Then, when we have published our plan for a deal we think we can get through Parliament by the end of August, we will start formal negotiations in September".

In the meantime, there was some good news for the FTSE 100 index this week as it reached its highest level in over two months on Monday morning, buoyed by news that the U.S. and China had agreed to resume talks in an effort to resolve their long-running trade dispute.

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