Chancellor's Mansion House speech: Philip Hammond lays out four-pronged approach to 'Brexit for Britain'

 
Caitlin Morrison
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Philip Hammond delivered his delayed Mansion House speech today (Source: Getty)

Chancellor Philip Hammond today laid out a four step plan to achieving a "Brexit for Britain" as he delivered his postponed Mansion House address.

The speech was supposed to be delivered last week at the City of London Corporation's annual dinner, however, this year's event was cancelled in light of the tragic fire at Grenfell Tower in north Kensington.

"This fire was an unimaginable tragedy," said Hammond. "My thoughts are with all those in the community who lost loved ones, and with the many people who are still suffering in hospital, and those who have lost their homes."

Brexit negotiations started yesterday, and the UK has already capitulated to demands from the EU that talks on a new trading relationship be delayed.

The first part of of Hammond's strategy for ensuring a Brexit "that works for Britain" will be "securing a comprehensive agreement for trade in goods and services".

The second part of the Chancellor's plan is to negotiate "mutually beneficial transitional arrangements to avoid unnecessary disruption and dangerous cliff edges".

"Thirdly, by agreeing frictionless customs arrangements to facilitate trade across our borders – and crucially – to keep the land border on the island of Ireland open and free-flowing," he said.

To meet all these conditions, the Chancellor said, the UK will "almost certainly need an implementation period, outside the Customs Union itself, but with current customs border arrangements remaining in place, until new long-term arrangements are up and running".

The final step in achieving a good deal for Britain, Hammond said, will involve "taking a pragmatic approach to one of our most important EU export sector – financial services".

"Let’s be honest, we are already hearing protectionist agendas being advanced, disguised as arguments about regulatory competence, financial stability, and supervisory oversight," the Chancellor said.

"We can have no truck with that approach. But we acknowledge that, as Britain leaves the EU, there are genuine and reasonable concerns among our EU colleagues about oversight of financial markets that will then be outside EU jurisdiction, but which provide a vast proportion of economically vital financial services to EU firms and citizens."

Bank of England governor Mark Carney also gave his delayed speech this morning, and said now is not the time to raise interest rates. Sterling plummeted against the dollar following Carney's remarks.

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