Hammond will not say if he would back Brexit in fresh referendum

Hammond will not say if he would back Brexit in fresh referendum

Pro-Brexit newspapers have this week called for him to be sacked.

Hammond, speaking during a visit to the International Monetary Fund's annual meeting in Washington, called on his Conservative Party colleagues to focus on the Brexit talks even though "passions are high and people have very strong views about this [Brexit]". "I regret I used a poor choice of words".

He will meet top bosses at JP Morgan and Citi as well as asset managers Blackstone and BlackRock, continuing a dialogue with major United States banks as many prepare to shift portions of their UK operations to the European Union in preparation for Brexit.

"It is absurd to pretend that the process we are engaged in hasn't created some uncertainty but the underlying economy remains robust", he declared, adding: "I am committed to delivering a Brexit deal that works for Britain".

It comes after Lord Lawson, the former Conservative Chancellor, said Mr Hammond should be sacked for coming "very close to sabotage" for refusing to set aside millions now to prepare for an exit with no deal struck with the EU.

It will cap a week that will have seen Mr Hammond meet fellow finance ministers and central bankers in Washington, where he will also attend the G20 and G7 meetings, and touch on topics including productivity, digital taxation and global trade.

But in an interview with the BBC, Mr Hammond - who has consistently argued for a "softer" Brexit - insisted he was committed to gaining the best possible outcome for Britain in the negotiations. "You know how I voted in it".

Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond answers questions at the parliamentary Commons Treasury Select Committee in London on Wednesday Oct. 11, 2017. On Thursday May's spokeswoman said the prime minister had full confidence in Hammond.

Hammond was forced into another U-turn earlier this year, when he dropped a plan to increase social security contributions by self-employed workers after uproar among Conservative lawmakers who said it broke a 2015 election promise.

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