Hammond could have ended austerity earlier without Brexit

Hammond made changes to the apprenticeship levy system which will affect every sector within leisure

The chancellor has announced he will launch a "full three-year Spending Review" before the summer break as long as Brexit is agreed and the "uncertainty lifted" in the next few weeks.

Britain's short-term economic growth forecast has been lowered and Brexit uncertainties continued to weigh on public spending, Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond said on Wednesday.

Philip Hammond also said he could free billions of pounds for extra public spending or tax cuts if parliament resolves its Brexit impasse.

But he insisted the economy remained "remarkably robust".

Hammond told lawmakers he could relax his grip on the public finances if they spared Britain the shock of leaving the world's biggest trading bloc without an agreement.

He added: "I need to be straight with the House: a no-deal Brexit would deliver a significant short- to medium-term reduction in the productive capacity of the British economy".

But the OBR also warned that a disorderly no-deal would pose a risk to the predicted growth rates, as the numbers are based on an assumed scenario in which the United Kingdom leaves the European Union with a deal on March 29, and enters a transition period. "The Augar review of funding further and higher education was at least acknowledged, though we still await its conclusions", Mr Johnson said.

Parliament last night rejected Prime Minister Theresa May's proposed Brexit plan for a second time, little more than two weeks before the scheduled date of departure from the EU.

More news: Reported Christchurch mosque shooting sees armed police deployed and schools in lockdown

The IFS said the United Kingdom economy would have been about 2% bigger without the Brexit vote.

MPs were expected to vote later today against a no-deal Brexit and then vote on Thursday in favour of the government seeking a delay to Britain's departure, now scheduled for March 29.

"Higher unemployment; lower wages; higher prices in the shops".

Hammond revealed in his Spring Statement that the forecast for the country's growth in 2019 was 1.2 percent, the weakest since 2009, a sharp drop from the 1.6 percent predicted in the his budget last October.

Britain's leading tax and spending thinktank said the chancellor's fiscal headroom - described by Hammond as a "deal dividend" - could be effectively wiped out under a no-deal Brexit.

Mr Hammond said rejecting an immediate no-deal Brexit and extending Article 50 could help find a "deal we can collectively support".

The OBR also said on Wednesday that the pay of the top 0.1% has been rising considerably faster than the average over the past year or more, which the IFS said was not true for most of the period after 2010.

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