Boris Johnson refuses to rule out Nov 1 general election after Sajid Javid sparked speculation with fast-track spending review to fulfil PM's multi-billion pledges for police, NHS and schools quickly

PM said he still believed it was possible to find an agreement with the EU He also claimed there was 'bags of time' in which to do it, with 84 days remaining Aides suggested election could take place within a matter of days of Brexit

10 August 2019 - 14:58

Boris Johnson repeatedly refused to rule out a November election yesterday as Sajid Javid announced a fast-track spending review to fulfil the Prime Minister's multi-billion pre-poll spree. 

The Chancellor scrapped the normal process of departments bidding for their budgets for the next five years.

Instead, he ordered civil servants to complete a one-year ‘Spending Round’ within weeks to fund commitments on the NHS, police and school funding.

The cash will also go towards helping departments prepare for a No Deal Brexit on October 31.

Officials will complete the process by September – ahead of a No Deal Budget which could be in early October.

Mr Javid said: ‘We will get Brexit done by October 31 and put our country on the road to a brighter future. The Prime Minister and I have asked for a fast-tracked Spending Round for September to set departmental budgets for next year.

‘This will clear the ground ahead of Brexit while delivering on people’s priorities.’

The Treasury said a one-year Spending Round completed in September will give Government the ‘time and space’ to focus on delivering Brexit.

The next multi-year Spending Review will now be carried out in 2020. Former chancellor Philip Hammond said in July he would pass the decision to carry out a spending review to his successor.

He claimed the uncertainty around Brexit made it impossible to decide at the time whether the review should take place and what period of time it would cover.

Many MPs believe a general election is inevitable this autumn if Boris Johnson tries to take Britain out of the EU without a deal.

A survey found Mr Johnson is twice as popular as Jeremy Corbyn, with 39% saying the Tory leader would make a good prime minister versus 19% for his rival.  

In a wide-ranging BBC interview, Mr Johnson refused to answer repeated questions about whether he would ignore a no confidence vote if he lost it in September and simply 'dig in' at No 10.

In a BBC interview Mr Johnson said there were 'conversations going on the whole time' and suggested a new agreement could found if the EU showed 'flexibility' on the issue

He said he still believed it was possible to find an agreement which would allow Britain to leave with a deal at the end of October.

Mr Johnson also claimed there was 'bags of time' in which to do it, with 84 days remaining until Halloween. 

Instead he urged MPs to 'get on and deliver' Brexit as he repeatedly refused to rule out bypassing Parliament to force through a No Deal break.  

The Prime Minister has so far refused to open negotiations with Brussels unless the Northern Ireland backstop is dropped from Theresa May's Withdrawal Agreement, something the EU side has refused to countenance.

However, he said there were 'conversations going on the whole time' and suggested a new agreement could found if the EU showed 'flexibility' on the issue.

 

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