Downing Street: We will not pay for the City to gain single market access after Brexit

Catherine Neilan
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Council of the Baltic Sea States Summit 2012
Downing Street has poured cold water on the plans, which are said to be forming in Berlin (Source: Getty)

Update: The UK will not pay for the City to have single market access after Brexit, Downing Street has said today, rejecting a German plan for the future of financial services.

A Downing Street spokesman told reporters the government's position was "unchanged": that we would consider making financial contributions for "specific policies and programmes where that is in our joint interest", such as scientific projects.

But as far as the financial services sector was concerned, there would be no cash changing hands.

"We will not be paying for market access," the spokesman told reporters.

Yesterday Bloomberg reported that officials from two departments in Berlin said they expected the UK to make substantial payments, as well as adhering to EU law.

Chancellor Angela Merkel has been pushing a hard-line stance against allowing a bespoke deal, which Theresa May, Brexit secretary David Davis and chancellor Philip Hammond have been seeking. Hammond last night told a Berlin dinner to stop trying to punish the UK for its decision and start making it clear what the country wants from a post-Brexit trade deal.

Today's reaction once again puts the Prime Minister at odds with her chancellor. When asked about the prospect of paying for access yesterday, Hammond did not reject the possibility, saying: "We will talk about all of these things."

EU budget commissioner Guenther Oettinger told reporters in Brussels on Wednesday that any payments after transition were a matter for the negotiations but suggested “the UK could reflect upon” how Switzerland pays to participate in certain European projects.

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