THE Brexit divorce bill will cost Britain £37 billion and we’ll be paying it off for nearly 50 years, until 2064, the government has said.

Growth will also remain low for the next five years, at 1.5 per cent or less.

But chancellor of the exchequer Philip Hammond says that he expects to be able to announce increased public spending in the autumn.

The first spring statement which replaced the March budgets, was stripped of tax-raising measures, and was more of an update on the state of the nation’s finances and suggestions of how to move forward.

One of the gloomier forecasts was that of growth, with the Office for Budget Responsibility saying while this year’s forecast has been increased to 1.5 per cent, the next three years will see that slow, and only reach that rate again in 2022. Commentators have pointed out that is the lowest rate of growth over five years since records began.

Mr Hammond did have some good news: he said he expects inflation to fall from the current rate of three per cent to the target rate of two per cent in the next year, and government borrowing is also expected to fall.

The chancellor said: “We have made solid progress towards building an economy that works for everyone. That is a turning point in this nation’s recovery from the financial crisis a decade ago. There is light at the end of the tunnel.”

He also said he would like to loosen his grip on the public purse strings, adding, that if the current improvements continued he would “enable further increases in public spending and investment in the years ahead.”

Responding for the Labour Party, Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell accused the chancellor of ‘complacency and said public services, especially the NHS, needed investment now, and that he had added £700m to the national debt.