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Chancellor abandons plan to balance books by 2020

Chancellor George Osborne has abandoned his plan to balance the UK's books by 2020 because of the economic impact of the country's decision to leave the European Union.

ITV News business editor Joel Hills reports:

In a speech to business leaders in Manchester Mr Osborne said: "We must be realistic about achieving a surplus by the end of the decade."

He added that the UK "needs to reduce uncertainty by moving as quickly as possible to forming a new relationship with the EU".

As the Bank of England said yesterday, the referendum result is as expected likely to lead to a significant negative shock for the British economy. How we respond will determine the impact on people's jobs and on economic growth.

The Bank of England can support demand, the Government must provide fiscal credibility so we will continue to be tough on the deficit but we must be realistic about achieving a surplus by the end of this decade and we need to reduce uncertainty by moving as quickly as possible to a new relationship with Europe and being super competitive...

The government must provide fiscal credibility, so we will continue to be tough on the deficit but we must be realistic about achieving a surplus by the end of this decade. This is precisely the flexibility that our rules provide for.

– Chancellor George Osborne


Osborne 'still Chancellor' if Gove wins Tory leadership

Michael Gove and George Osborne. Credit: PA

Michael Gove is reported to want George Osborne to stay on as Chancellor if he wins the Conservative leadership contest and becomes Prime Minister.

Osborne: Jo Cox's death should inspire less divisive politics

The death of Labour MP Jo Cox should inspire a less divisive political debate, Chancellor George Osborne has said.

Speaking on ITV's Peston on Sunday, Mr Osborne said there should be less "baseless assertions and inflammatory rhetoric" in the lead up to the June 23 referendum, and more "reasoned argument and facts".

He said there was a distinction to be made between addressing legitimate concerns about migration and “whipping up division” or "putting up that disgusting and vile poster that Nigel Farage did, which had echoes of literature used in the 1930s".

The chancellor paid tribute to Ms Cox and said he hopes there will be a memorial at Westminster "not just to her tragic death but to her incredible life".

Addressing the topic of the upcoming referendum, Mr Osborne said there would be no turning back if Britain votes to leave the EU.

"It's a one-way door to a much more uncertain world, where people's jobs, and their livelihoods are at risk," he said.

"If we vote to remain, we can have a prosperous and stronger economy going forward."


Brexit shockwave would hit NI, says Osborne

A Brexit economic shockwave would hit Northern Ireland extremely hard, George Osborne has warned.

George Osborne speaking to workers in Northern Ireland. Credit: PA Wire

The chancellor chose a visit to Warrenpoint Port in Co Down, which is a stone's throw from the Irish Republic, to outline his fears if there is a vote to exit the European Union on June 23.

Pointing to the Carlingford Lough waterway which separates the jurisdictions, Mr Osborne said:

Let's be clear, if we quit the EU then this is going to be the border with the European Union.

And all the things that those that want to quit the EU claim would happen - ie new immigration checkpoints, border controls and an end to free movement - that has a real consequence, and there would have to be a real hardening of the border imposed either by the British government or indeed by the Irish government.

– George Osborne

Osborne: Brexit will hit financial services

The Chancellor George Osborne has warned against the impact on the financial services sector if Britain leaves the European Union.

Speaking at the JP Morgan Chase bank in Bournemouth, Mr Osborne said there would be "a big economic price to be paid" if Britain voted to leave the single market on June 23.

The 'Remain' campaigner described the European Union as a "massive economic opportunity" for Britain, and said 400,000 service sector jobs would be at risk in the event of a Brexit.

You can base your business here and you can do banking and financial services across the whole of the European Union, across a market of 500 million consumers.

That is a bigger market in terms of its wealth than the United States or China or anywhere else in the world. You can do that through the financial services passport, which means a bank like JP Morgan can base itself here, (and) doesn't have to set up subsidiaries in other European countries and as a result Britain is the big financial centre for the whole of Europe.

My concern is that if we quit the EU there will be a big economic price to be paid in this country.

– George Osborne
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