PHILIP Hammond took a swipe at the European Union today when he reminded Brussels chiefs that Britain’s financial sector is “larger than the rest of the EU’s put together” during an appearance at this week’s World Economic Forum in Davos.
The Chancellor vowed Britain will have “weight” in discussions about the nation’s trading future with the bloc when the UK exits. Philip Hammond, who voted to remain in the EU, said: “Financial services have to be part of our relationship with EU because they are such a large and important part of the economy.
“The UK’s financial services sector is larger than rest of the EU put together. We have some negotiating weight in this discussion.” His positive comments are in stark contrast to doom-mongering remarks he has previously made in the wake of Brexit.
In a further swipe to the EU, he told Bloomberg TV: “We are all clear we want to have a good deal with the EU, the closest possible access, the greatest possible access so all supply chains and business links that we have built up over 40 years can continue.
“But we also want to build our trade links with the rest of the world, recognising that the fastest economic economic growth is coming from beyond Europe.”
Mr Hammond is in Switzerland’s Davos today where he will attend day three of the World Economic Forum. He said he was “very happy” with the current strength of the sterling against the euro.
When quizzed over how the UK will continue to trade without passporting – the exercise of the right for a firm registered in the European Economic Area (EEA) – Mr Hammond said the nation will form an “enhanced equivalence regime”.
He said: “We can operate without passporting through some kind of enhanced equivalence regime.
“But it has to be a regime that is robust and objectively determined. It can’t be something that is dependent on the whim of the European Commission. It’s got to be more robust than that.
“I hope we will be able to come to a sensible solution that recognises the challenges, has the architecture of regulatory and supervisory cooperation which makes both sides feel comfortable and allows EU real economy companies to gain the benefits of access to the UK’s financial services market.”
Mr Hammond said Britain would not be able to remain in the customs union after Brexit, but the nation would work towards making “sure goods can flow with low friction”.
He said: “The idea that you can re-create in Frankfurt, or Paris, or Madrid, or Amsterdam or Luxembourg, or Dublin, London’s global financial centre I honestly think is a fantasy that isn’t going to happen.
“The winner will be New York or Singapore if London is damaged by this process and the loser will be, not only the UK , but the European Union.”
Source: The Express