THE EU may continue to benefit from Britain paying into the single market even after Brexit is complete, revealed Philip Hammond, who is refusing to rule out “any option” in a bid to get the best deal from the Brussels big wigs, The Express wrote.
The Chancellor admitted wanting “a smooth Brexit” to quell fears of instability in the financial sector and could not deny that City firms may get special breaks to make sure London remains at the pinnacle of the global economic structure.
Mr Hammond, who is attending a meeting of the Economic Financial Affairs Concil Configuration (Ecofin) in Brussels today, acknowledged Britain may keep “paying in” to the EU as a ay of retaining access to its economic privileges.
He said: “We won’t rule out the possibility of ongoing contributions in some form. That would be something we’d look at.
“We’d look at the costs and benefits and what would be in the best interests of the British tax payer.”
In a move akin to extending an olive branch across the Channel, Mr hammond went on to quell the notion of a hard Brexit, something that will no doubt raise eyebrows among the Leave camp.
He said: “Of course we want a smooth Brexit – that’s in everybody’s interests.
“It minimises the threat to EU financial stability and complex relations between EU manufacturing sectors and their finances in London.
“What we want to achieve is the best possible solution that works for both sides, for the EU and the UK.”
In sharp contradiction to some Brexit rhetoric coming out of Downing Street since the crushing Leave victory in the EU referendum, the 61-year-old money minister said he wants to maintain good relations with his counterparts on the Continent.
He said: “We want to go into negotiations on good faith with our EU partners.
“We’re prepared to discuss any sector with our EU partners but we won’t do a deal if it’s not in Britain’s interests.”
It comes after Mr Hammond and David Davis met with the City’s big players in London’s Shard yesterday to discuss how they would be looked after during Brexit negotiations.
The meeting, in the Warwick Business School’s centrepiece room, included representatives from Goldman Sachs, BlackRock, Lloyds, Barclays and Santander.
Possibilities such as providing them with third party passports to operate across the EU and maintaining their access to the single market were floated.
Mr Davis, Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, had previously express scepticism to the idea, but was “not dismissive” this time around.