“Gordon Brown's hopes of uniting the world's most powerful economies behind a massive new package of tax cuts and public spending increases suffered a serious blow yesterday when he failed to persuade France and Germany to back his plan to revive the world economy.
After talks at Chequers to prepare the way for next month's G20 summit in London, Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, ruled out ordering another "fiscal stimulus" in the short term, and made it clear that if more action were to prove necessary in Germany it would be for Berlin to decide, not the G20.
Her comments were echoed by the French finance minister, Christine Lagarde, who was attending a meeting of G20 finance ministers in Horsham, West Sussex.”
It is becoming increasingly clear that Brown will not get the kind of dramatic success at the G20 that might be able to revive him domestically. The Budget really does look like being the last roll of the dice.