The boys are back in town: Hammond and Davis fly out for charm offensive with German business

Alys Key
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Hammond and Davis are to woo the German business world ahead of the next phase of negotiations (Source: Getty)

Chancellor Philip Hammond and Brexit secretary David Davis have put aside their differences today to join forces on a charm offensive in Germany.

The pair will push to maintain links between the Eurozone's biggest economy and the City of London, with Hammond addressing the Die Welt Economic Summit in Berlin, while Davis is scheduled to meet bosses of major German businesses in Munich.

Hammond and Davis have kicked off the charm offensive this morning with a joint op-ed published in the Frankfurter Allegemeine, writing that the relationship between Britain and Germany will "remain strong and close" after Brexit.

The role of financial services took centre stage as the ministers called for a "bespoke solution" between the UK and the EU. "The economic partnership should cover the length and breadth of our economies including the service industries — and financial services," they wrote.

The trip comes as the EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier said yesterday that the City could maintain a relationship with EU businesses but only if the UK stays in line with EU regulations. He said: “A country that comes out of this very precise framework and its consistent and integrated implementation by the national authorities has the opportunity to diverge but at the same time loses the benefits of the internal market.”

In their article, Hammond and Davis also reiterated the plan for a transition period in which both UK and EU business will have time to prepare for a single set of changes "once we know what our future trading partnership will look like."

That partnership should be unhindered by trade carriers, according to Hammond and Davis.

"As two of Europe’s biggest economies, it makes no sense to either Germany or Britain to put in place unnecessary barriers to trade in goods and services that would only damage businesses and economic growth on both sides of the Channel," they wrote.

Earlier this week it emerged that the EU is assessing the impact of Brexit on each of the 27 other countries in the bloc, with mixed results suggesting that there could be a split among member nations in the approach to negotiating the second phase of the Brexit deal.

Read more: Fox pledges up to 40 "continuity" trade deals in place by Brexit day

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