The EU’s hardline stance against the UK in the upcoming Brexit negotiations “doesn’t make a lot of sense”, the Chancellor has said, as he warned that the talks will bring uncertainty to the British economy
Philip Hammond urged EU countries to “think very carefully about what they want” before hanging Britain out to dry in any post-Brexit settlement.
EU leaders have repeatedly said the UK will not get trade concessions if does not participate in freedom of movement with the bloc – upholding one of its founding pillars. They have also threatened to withhold so-called “passporting” rights for the City– which would pull the rug out from under the UK’s financial sector.
An EU diplomat said this weekend that watering down that negotiating stance could be “seen to be giving in to a country that is leaving” – and embolden far-right parties on the continent who could do untold damage in the long-run.
Mr Hammond told BBC One’s Andrew Marr Show on Sunday: “This will be a long process. Part of this process will be about the Europeans themselves thinking very carefully about what they want, because some of what I’m hearing from European politicians I understand in terms of political rhetoric, but doesn’t make a lot of sense in terms of economics.”
He said he believed the EU benefited from the City of London’s access to the single market, before adding: “It has to work for Britain and the European Union. This is a negotiation and it’s got to be a win-win outcome.”
Mr Hammond also admitted the negotiations’ outcome would bring uncertainty for the British economy.
“You’ve seen the range of independent forecasts that are out there and many of those forecasts are pointing to a slowing of economic growth next year and a sharp challenge to the public finances. There are a range of reasons for that,” he said.
“As we go into a period where there will be some certainty around the negotiations.”
Despite the warning that uncertainty could damage economic prospects Mr Hammond resisted calls on the programme to actually reveal the Government’s starting position, aims or approach to Brexit, saying only in unhelpful relative terms that he wanted the “best deal” or “the best access”.
The complete transparency blackout from No 10 and the Government in general has led to accusations that the Government is in fact dreadfully split on the issue and does not in fact have a plan to disclose.
Mr Hammond, who is understood to favour a more cautious approach to Brexit, tacitly acknowledged the suggestions of a split but downplayed their significance.
“I think you’d be surprised by the degree to which the Cabinet is coming together around a view of the challenges and the opportunities as we move this debate forward,” he said.
What experts have said about Brexit
What experts have said about Brexit
1/11 Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond
The Chancellor claims London can still be a world financial hub despite Brexit “One of Britain’s great strengths is the ability to offer and aggregate all of the services the global financial services industry needs” “This has not changed as a result of the EU referendum and I will do everything I can to ensure the City of London retains its position as the world’s leading international financial centre.”
2/11 Yanis Varoufakis
Greece's former finance minister compared the UK relations with the EU bloc with a well-known song by the Eagles: “You can check out any time you like, as the Hotel California song says, but you can't really leave. The proof is Theresa May has not even dared to trigger Article 50. It's like Harrison Ford going into Indiana Jones' castle and the path behind him fragmenting. You can get in, but getting out is not at all clear”
3/11 Michael O’Leary
Ryanair boss says UK will be ‘screwed’ by EU in Brexit trade deals: “I have no faith in the politicians in London going on about how ‘the world will want to trade with us’. The world will want to screw you – that's what happens in trade talks,” he said. “They have no interest in giving the UK a deal on trade”
4/11 Tim Martin
JD Wetherspoon's chairman has said claims that the UK would see serious economic consequences from a Brexit vote were "lurid" and wrong: “We were told it would be Armageddon from the OECD, from the IMF, David Cameron, the chancellor and President Obama who were predicting locusts in the fields and tidal waves in the North Sea"
5/11 Mark Carney
Governor of Bank of England is 'serene' about Bank of England's Brexit stance: “I am absolutely serene about the … judgments made both by the MPC and the FPC”
6/11 Christine Lagarde
IMF chief urges quick Brexit to reduce economic uncertainty: “We want to see clarity sooner rather than later because we think that a lack of clarity feeds uncertainty, which itself undermines investment appetites and decision making”
7/11 Inga Beale
Lloyd’s chief executive says Brexit is a major issue: "Clearly the UK's referendum on its EU membership is a major issue for us to deal with and we are now focusing our attention on having in place the plans that will ensure Lloyd's continues trading across Europe”
8/11 Colm Kelleher
President of US bank Morgan Stanley says City of London ‘will suffer’ as result of the EU referendum: “I do believe, and I said prior to the referendum, that the City of London will suffer as result of Brexit. The issue is how much”
9/11 Richard Branson
Virgin founder believes we've lost a THIRD of our value because of Brexit and cancelled a deal worth 3,000 jobs: We're not any worse than anybody else, but I suspect we've lost a third of our value which is dreadful for people in the workplace.' He continued: "We were about to do a very big deal, we cancelled that deal, that would have involved 3,000 jobs, and that’s happening all over the country"
10/11 Barack Obama
US President believes Britain was wrong to vote to leave the EU: "It is absolutely true that I believed pre-Brexit vote and continue to believe post-Brexit vote that the world benefited enormously from the United Kingdom's participation in the EU. We are fully supportive of a process that is as little disruptive as possible so that people around the world can continue to benefit from economic growth"
11/11 Kristin Forbes
American economist and an external member of the Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank of England argues that the economy had been “less stormy than many expected” following the shock referendum result: “For now…the economy is experiencing some chop, but no tsunami. The adverse winds could quickly pick up – and merit a stronger policy response. But recently they have shifted to a more favourable direction”
“We’re doing a huge amount of work, David Davis’s department, Liam Fox’s department, and some of the messages we hear from people who haven’t gone into this issue in such great depths bely the complexity of this deal. We want to get the best deal we can possibly get.”
Warring factions of the Conservative party ramped up their lobbying of the leadership this weekend with a small group of pro-Remain MPs calling for the Government to drop its Supreme Court appeal. This was shortly followed by 60 eurosceptic MPs calling for a Hard Brexit – leaving the customs union and single market.
Theresa May has said only that she will trigger Article 50 in the first quarter of 2017.Reuse content