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UK's Hammond quits as finance minister before Johnson becomes PM

FILE PHOTO: Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond appears on BBC TV's The Andrew Marr Show in London, Britain, July 21, 2019. Jeff Overs/BBC/Handout via REUTERS

LONDON (Reuters) - British finance minister Philip Hammond resigned from the government on Wednesday, following through on a promise to leave rather than serve under incoming prime minister Boris Johnson.

Hammond - who strongly opposes leaving the European Union without a deal - said he had left the economy in a state that would allow his successor to choose between tax cuts, higher spending or faster debt reduction if they left the EU smoothly.

“After the decade when the aftermath of the 2008-09 recession meant we had no choices, this is a luxury which our successors should use wisely,” he said.

Reporting by Kate Holton and David Milliken; editing by Stephen Addison