UK finance minister Philip Hammond has warned that high debt has tied the government’s hands, in a time when the country needs a “watertight” economy to cope with years of “uncertainty” that lie ahead.
In an interview with the BBC on Sunday, Hammond said the country’s first budget plan since the vote to leave the European Union (EU) in July was constrained by “eye-wateringly” high debt and had to be carefully planned to minimize possible damages by Brexit.
“Over the next couple of years we are going to face some uncertainty over the economy,” he said, pointing to the difficult negotiations with the EU that, according to Prime Minister Theresa May, would take at least two years to complete.
Britain’s public debt hovers around £1.6 trillion, which equals 84 percent of the country’s economic output last year and is the highest over the past 50 years.
Hammond said that for now the government could not push new spending but he was…