Britain slashed its official projections for economic growth Wednesday and anticipates it will need to borrow sharply over the coming years.
Finance Minister Philip Hammond delivered the U.K. government's official Autumn Budget at a time when the ruling Conservative party is facing challenging political and economic circumstances.
The non-partisan Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) forecast Britain's gross domestic product (GDP) would grow by 1.5 percent in 2017 before slipping gradually to 1.3 percent over the next three years. The U.K. had been forecast to grow by 2 percent in 2017.
The OBR also revised down productivity growth and business investment. Britain's changing economic condition has stirred fierce debate over how much should be attributable to the uncertainty surrounding Brexit.
Hammond promised to set aside £3 billion ($3.9 billion) over the next two years for Brexit contingency planning.
"The negotiations on our future relationship with the European Union are in a critical phase," Hammond said.
"We have already invested almost £700 million in Brexit preparations and today I am setting aside over the next two years another £3 billion," he added.