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Boosterish Britain must now face harsh economic reality


The UK chancellor’s Autumn Statement reveals a country seeking to balance its desire to be a major international power with a fragile and diminishing economy.

With classic understatement, Rishi Sunak admitted at the G20 summit that the UK’s reputation had taken ‘a bit of a knock’. The events of the past week have seen two significant moves by the new prime minister – the UK’s third since the summer – to stake the claim the UK has returned to being a reliable diplomatic and economic partner.

All manifestations of the brief and ill-fated era of Liz Truss have now been blown away. On the diplomatic circuit, there is no more talk of ‘disruption’; instead, the focus is back on formal engagement through multilateral organizations.

On his return from Bali, Sunak sat in the House of Commons next to his chancellor Jeremy Hunt as he announced in his Autumn Statement a raft of tax rises and spending cuts – a belated attempt to stabilize Britain’s dire fiscal position.

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