Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid said on Monday on the BBC that he did not think anyone really knew the cost to Britain’s economy of crashing out of the EU.
He said a no-deal Brexit, which he described as a possibility, was not the British Government’s preferred scenario and it was working to arrive at an agreement with its European partners.
However, despite a law voted in Parliament that prohibits the UK from leaving the EU without an agreement and stipulates that the Prime Minister should, in that case, request a postponement from Brussels, Javid repeated, without giving any details, that “we cannot have another postponement” of the withdrawal.
The intention of the law is clear and it has made it more difficult for the Government to obtain the agreement it wants, Javid said, adding that the Government would abide by the law.
Businesses wish to know that the uncertainty is ending, he explained, adding that a no-deal is a possibility, which is why the British Government continued to prepare at top speed for such an eventuality.
Asked by the BBC about the impact expected by the British authorities, which could be as much as 30 billion pounds, the Chancellor said he did not think there was a real response to that question, adding that he had never claimed that leaving the EU without a deal would not be hard.
Its impact will be felt, in particular, by people doing business with the EU, he said, adding, however, that in that case there would be “a significant economic response”. The Bank of England “will almost certainly think about a monetary policy response” and “I will be thinking about a fiscal and other economic policy response,” the Chancellor added.
Javid was scheduled to unveil, at the Conservative Party’s congress on Monday, details of an infrastructure revolution plan that he has been announcing for weeks now.
It is expected to include a five-year, 25-billion-pound road-renovation package, a countrywide bus-renovation project that involves, among other things, the electrification of the bus fleet, and five billion dollars for supporting the deployment of fibre optics and 5G telephone communications.
Investment in infrastructure is crucial to make the next decade one of renewal, with a focus on boosting the economy and making life easier for people throughout the country, the minister noted in the text of the speech he was scheduled to deliver at the Congress later on Monday.