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Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne and International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde. © Laura Lean/PA Wire/Press Association Images

The ritual coda to the British party conference season is not the moment when the last party leader speaks, but when the International Monetary Fund, holding its annual get-together in the still summery streets of Washington, awards its marks for the health of the United Kingdom’s economy. In the past few years,…

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