Budget 2018 'backed into December by Brexit forecast'

Budget 2018 looks destined for delivery dangerously close to Christmas, if MPs get their way for an independent economic evaluation of Brexit to be drawn up by forecasters the OBR.

The working out of such an evaluation will reportedly not only take the OBR 10 weeks, the evaluation itself would also need to be combined with the Budget’s (pre-announced) proposals.

But the Daily Telegraph understands that the UK’s withdrawal agreement with the EU is unlikely to be available at any time before October 19th.

Once the envisioned period of 10 weeks’ totting-up is subsequently carried out, the Budget’s delivery date does not fall far off the recess (around Dec 20th), when parliament breaks for Christmas.

Aside from squeezing the options for the date of Budget day, chancellor Philip Hammond’s ‘due process’ rhetoric may be undermined, given there is also the need for a Finance Bill to enact his Budgetary measures.

Yet Mr Hammond is still to announce the Budget date, and his move in 2015 to hold a single fiscal event in the autumn stipulated the bill’s introduction in December and its passing in the Spring.

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