David Davis will invite City officials to weigh in on Brexit next month as part of plans to build a national consensus

Mark Sands
Follow Mark
David Davis Warns Remaining In The EU Will Damage British Jobs
Brexit secretary David Davis will call in City firms to consult on Brexit next month (Source: Getty)

Brexit secretary David Davis has pledged to hold a raft of roundtables for business ahead of negotiations to leave the EU, and is set to kick off by inviting the City for discussions next month.

Making a ministerial statement in parliament earlier today, Davis again reiterated Prime Minister Theresa May's decision that the UK will not head to a second referendum on EU membership.

And he added the government would seek to build consensus in the run up to the formal launch of Brexit talks next year with the activation of Article 50, adding this would begin with a series of roundtables beginning in October

“We are going to listen and talk to as many organisations, companies and institutions as possible – from the large PLCs to small business, from the devolved administrations through to councils, local government associations and the major metropolitan bodies,” he said.

City A.M. understands that City officials are expected to be amongst the first to be invited to sit down with the government following the recess for party conferences.

After going in to recess on 15 September, parliament will return on 10 October.

Read More: UK still hoping for tariff-free EU trade, Brexit secretary says

One well-placed source told City A.M.: “We want to ensure the government and the EU know London has the skills, talent and infrastructure needed to deliver jobs and growth both in the UK and across Europe.”

Separately, Sky News reports that chancellor Philip Hammond will meet with a group of banking chairs and chief executives later this week to engage on passporting in particular. The Treasury did not respond to request for comment.

Back in parliament, Davis faced questions from senior Tory backbenchers, including Treasury select committee chair Andrew Tyrie and former small business minister Anna Soubry, telling Tyrie that a decision had not been made on whether the UK would retain customs union membership.

Read More: Brexit: Stronger China ties will buttress London's financial preeminence

And pressed by Soubry on concerns on Single Market membership raised by the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs earlier this week, Davis said: “This government is looking at every option. The simple fact is that if a requirement of membership is giving up control of our borders that makes it very improbable.”

He added: “What we are looking for is a unique solution, one which matches the fact that we are one of the largest trading countries in the world. And we are also a very large market for a very large parts of very important industries in the European Union.”

“I find it very difficult to believe that over the course of the next couple of years we will not be able to secure an outcome that satisfies not just our own industries but of course those industries sponsored by Japan.”