Brussels will not be allowed to use Brexit to introduce “protectionist” measures targeting the City of London, Philip Hammond has said.
Britain, the EU’s biggest financial centre, acknowledged there are legitimate concerns among its European partners about the oversight and supervision of financial markets after the UK leaves the bloc in March 2019, the Chancellor said.
“We will address them by making forward-leaning proposals for greater transparency, cooperation, and agreed standards based on international norms,” he said in a speech to the City.
“But, let me be clear, we will not accept protectionist agendas, disguised as arguments about financial stability.”
Mr Hammond was speaking at the first annual dinner of UK Finance, a new industry body launched this year. He delivered his speech at the Mansion House in London’s “Square Mile” financial district.
The speech came after Mr Hammond presided over the first meeting of the Business Advisory Group.
The Chancellor, Brexit Secretary David Davis and Business Secretary Greg Clark met the five main business organisations – the CBI (Confederation of British Industry), BCC (British Chambers of Commerce), IoD (Institute of Directors), FSB (Federation of Small Businesses) and EEF – to hear their concerns and priorities regarding Brexit.
During the City speech, Mr Hammond said: “It is my priority as Chancellor to ensure that the UK remains the financial services centre of the world. And the global hub of fintech.
“We have the time zone, the language, the legal system, the talent, the capital markets, and the tech centre to succeed.”
However, banks, asset managers and insurers based in London are already announcing plans to open up new hubs in the EU to maintain guaranteed links with European customers after Brexit.