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Sajid Javid will give the Treasury a culture shock

24 July 2019

7:07 PM

24 July 2019

7:07 PM

Sajid Javid as Chancellor is the latest of a string of encouraging appointments. He knows finance better than almost anyone else in parliament, let alone Cabinet.

When Osborne took the the brief, he would confess to people that he didn’t have a clue about economics. In Sajid Javid, we have someone who was vice-president of Chase Manhattan bank aged 25: not because of any family ties but because of his sheer ability.

Javid has the knowledge and nerve for a clear no-deal plan, and was always arguing for one in the Cabinet. This will be a bit of a culture shock to HM Treasury, which has been the HQ of Remain refuseniks for quite some time: it served to delay and frustrate others who were preparing for no deal.

Philip Hammond was going around its various departments today, shaking hands with officials who have – under his leadership – been under no pressure at all to produce a no-deal plan capable of showing Europe that the UK was ready.

Sajid Javid will put it under new management. Perhaps Matthew Elliott, who masterminded Vote Leave with Dominic Cummings, will follow Javid into the Treasury. That department will, for the first time, have to get serious about Brexit. And the officials will be dealing with a Chancellor who’ll know the markets and the economics as well as any of them. 


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