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Government changes

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Philip Hammond has been appointed chancellor of the exchequer, following Theresa May’s appointment as prime minister. The new chancellor has confirmed in media interviews that he does not intend to call an emergency Budget in 2016, but that the Autumn Statement will go ahead as usual. Prior to the 2010 general election, Mr Hammond was shadow chief secretary to the Treasury.

David Gauke has been promoted to chief secretary to the Treasury. Jane Ellison takes over from Mr Gauke as financial secretary to the Treasury and is responsible for most of the tax system.

The government has created a new Department for International Trade, with overall responsibility for promoting British trade across the world. It will take on the responsibilities of UK Trade and Investment and UK Export Finance, as well as the relevant trade functions of the former Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).

The remaining functions of the BIS are split between the Department for Education and a new Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, which brings together responsibility for business, industrial strategy, and science and innovation with energy and climate change policy, replacing the former Department of Energy and Climate Change.

A new Department for Exiting the European Union will have responsibility for overseeing preparations for the UK’s withdrawal from the EU and conducting withdrawal negotiations.

The IMF has revised downward its growth forecasts for the UK and the global economy as a result of ‘Brexit’, which IMF chief economist and economic counsellor Maurice Obstfeld describes as having ‘thrown a spanner in the works’ of its economic forecasts. The IMF predicts the UK economy will expand 1.7% this year, which is 0.2% less than forecast in April. Next year, UK growth is predicted to slow to 1.3%, down 0.9% from the April estimate.

Citing a ‘substantial increase in economic, political and institutional uncertainty’, the IMF called upon UK and EU negotiators to achieve a ‘smooth and predictable transition to a new set of post-Brexit trading and financial relationships that as much as possible preserves gains from trade between the UK and the EU’.

Issue: 1318
Categories: News