Philip Hammond is set to make his annual Spring Statement – his last before Brexit.
While it’s not a full-blown Budget – they come in the autumn these days – it’s the Chancellor’s opportunity to update the country on the state of the economy.
He’ll tweak predictions for how the economy is going to fare in the coming years.
And with this being his last major speech before Britain leaves the EU on March 29, we’re expecting that to be factored in in a big way.
Here’s everything you need to know about Philip Hammond’s Spring Statement, when it is, how you can watch and what to expect from the speech.
When is the Spring Statement?
Chancellor Philip Hammond is delivering his Spring Statement to the House of Commons on Wednesday 13 March 2010.
It’s expected to start at 12.30pm and last around 20 minutes. The entire debate is expect to last two hours.
How can I watch the Spring Statement?
The Spring Statement is broadcast live on all the major news channels, and streamed live at ParliamentLive.TV
You’ll also be able to follow along here at mirror.co.uk/politics.
What is it?
In 2016 the Tory Chancellor surprised everyone by announcing he was moving the Budget from Spring to Autumn.
So instead of the Autumn Statement there’s now a Budget, and instead of the Budget there’s now a Spring Statement.
Key points from UK’s 611-page Brexit deal with EU
The Brexit deal agreed by Theresa May and the EU covers two areas: the Withdrawal Agreement, covering the UK’s exit from the EU, and the Political Declaration on a Future Framework, which sets out the relationship with the EU after Britain leaves.
Key details on the Brexit deal include:
1. The Withdrawal Agreement
- The transition period can be extended until 2022 – after the next election
- Goods face being checked between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK
- A ‘backstop‘ could extend EU customs rules UK-wide – and we’d need Brussels’ permission to quit
- European courts will still have a big hold on the UK
2. The Future Framework
- “Comprehensive arrangements that will create a free trade area” – not exactly the “frictionless trade” hoped for
- Possible EU access to British fishing waters
- We would remain tied to European courts
- We’d respect human rights laws
- Visas needed for long term trips to the EU
- It has built in vagueness – kicking the can down the road for further negotiations
What will be in it?
The Chancellor will respond to new financial predictions from the independent Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR).
They will show things like the projected GDP growth and borrowing for the UK government in future years – included whether Brexit ‘s having an impact.
It’s expected the figures will finally show Britain’s finances are in the black.
We’re not expecting any “major” tax or spending rises.
But there is an opportunity to update MPs on progress since the last budget.
The government may consult on one or two longer term policies.
And how’s all that going?
The OBR have just released new figures that showed growth in the UK economy was slower than expected – just 0.2% in the last three months of 2018.
It’s down from 0.6% in the previous quarter.
Britain’s services sector shrank by 0.2% in December, manufacturing shrank by 0.7% and construction by 0.3%.
Mr Hammond blamed Brexit.
Mr Hammond told Sky News: “It’s a solid performance from the economy when you took at what’s happening globally and in other competitor countries.
“But of course there is no doubt that our economy is being overshadowed by the uncertainty created by the Brexit process.
“The soon we can resolve that the better, and the quicker we can get back to more robust growth in the future.”