Wednesday, 7 March 2018

EU trade deal must include financial services, says Chancellor Philip Hammond

Chancellor Philip Hammond will tell European leaders that it is in the "mutual interest" of both the UK and the EU to include financial services in a free trade agreement.

In a speech, Mr Hammond will set out his argument against "sceptics", saying it is possible to reach a deal.

However, the BBC understands Donald Tusk will reject the UK proposals.

The EU's chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, has argued that such a deal had never been done before.

But Mr Hammond will say the EU has in the past attempted similar agreements.
In December, Mr Barnier said: "There is not a single trade agreement that is open to financial services. It doesn't exist."

Mr Hammond will say on Wednesday that the EU itself tried to include financial services within trade deals with the US and Canada.

He will say: "If it could be done with Canada or the USA ... it could be done with the UK."

The Chancellor will stress: "I am clear not only that it is possible to include financial services within a trade deal but that it is very much in our mutual interest to do so."

However, European Union president Donald Tusk is set to issue guidelines telling EU negotiators that the UK will have to settle for a more conventional free trade agreement, such as the EU's deal with Canada.

The added that the UK's stance on leaving the single market would mean the City having to settle for more limited access to European markets.

The EU's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier says a trade deal including financial services "does not exist".

BBC     News.