The cabinet, including Boris Johnson and Michael Gove, agreed that the European Union would have to be offered something like £40 billion in the fond hope that at the summit on 14 December it would agree to start talking about a trade agreement.
Michel Barnier, the EU negotiator, made a speech reminding the City
that ‘The legal consequence of Brexit is that UK financial service providers lose their EU passport.’ He also stressed the unresolved Irish border question. Arlene Foster, the leader of the DUP, criticised the Prime Minister of Ireland: ‘You shouldn’t play about with Northern Ireland, particularly at a time when we’re trying to bring about devolved government again.’ European officials were busy totting up the Reste à Liquider (money committed to budgets), which would set Britain back £27 billion, plus £18 billion promised to future projects, £9 billion for pensions, and loan guarantees of £10 billion. Brandon Lewis, the Immigration Minister, said that the continued jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice was ‘part of negotiations’. Eurotunnel changed its name to Getlink, under the apprehension that it sounded attractively Anglo-Saxon.
In the Budget, Philip Hammond, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, reported that GDP was predicted to fall to 1.3 per cent by 2020. He foresaw reduced debt and deficit over five years. He put aside another £3 billion for Brexit preparations. The NHS would get an extra £2.8 billion. Stamp duty was abolished on properties up to £300,000 for first-time buyers. A 100 per cent council tax premium could be put on empty properties. Over five years, £44 billion would support the building of 300,000 new houses a year. Waiting time for Universal Credit would be reduced. Alcohol duty was frozen, except for some strong cider. Voters under 30 would get rail cards. Single-use plastic would be taxed. He made some jokes and Mrs May handed him a packet of cough-sweets. Camelot, the operator of the National Lottery, said it was planning a new prize of a monthly income of £10,000 for the rest of winners’ lives.
The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary with a dinner at Windsor, for which the Duchess of Cambridge wore the Queen’s four-row Japanese pearl choker. In an official photograph, the Queen wore the ruby brooch made by Andrew Grima in 1966, a present from the Duke. Malcolm Young, the rhythm guitarist of AC/DC, died aged 64.