Alex Salmond is Leading Britain's Conversation
23 November 2017, 14:08
The Chancellor has turned from villain to hero overnight in the right-wing press and it’s because he’s announced billions for a Brexit no deal, says James O’Brien.
In Wednesday’s Budget Philip Hammond revealed an extra £3bn would be set aside over the next two years to allow for “every possible outcome” in the talks.
The spending pledge is likely to please his Eurosceptic colleagues, who have expressed anger at the pro-EU Chancellor’s reluctance to spend large sums of money to prepare for Britain leaving the bloc without a deal.
The Daily Mail welcomed the news with a front page which read: “Today, after his Brexit optimism, his boost for housing, the young and nurses, we retract the nickname - Eeyore no more!”
However, James has been left baffled by the way the tables have turned so quickly.
He questioned: “What did Philip Hammond do yesterday to get right-wing newspapers onside?
“Answer - he put aside £3bn for the possibility of a no deal Brexit, something upon which everybody with an informed opinion agrees is going to be a disaster.
“But, some weird rump of Tory backbenchers believe will, somehow, deliver a brave new dawn for Britain."
James continued: “So a Chancellor who has been absolutely pilloried, lampooned and lambasted by the right-wing press puts aside £3bn for insurance against a possible disaster that a no deal Brexit would be, and that puts him back in the good books of these people.
“You could today be forgiven for thinking that you’ve woken up in a parallel universe, £3bn.
“You can stick this on a t-shirt if you want or even the side of a bus, why can’t we take the money that we’re spending on Brexit, and give it all to the NHS?”
Watch James' take in full above.