13:38 GMT27 January 2021
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    LONDON (Sputnik) – The scale of cooperation between UK financial service companies and EU businesses will be declining after Brexit with the UK companies eventually boosting their activities in fast-growing economies outside the bloc, UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, said.

    "Over time we must expect EU business to be a gradually declining share of our financial services exports … as a steadily rising proportion will be with the fast-growing economies beyond Europe. We are well equipped to make this transition," Hammond said at TheCityUK lobby group’s annual dinner on Wednesday.

    The official noted that the United Kingdom had always had a vision of itself as a part of the world, not just Europe, adding that the country was well positioned to develop trade relations with various expanding markets.

    "Our Global Financial Partnerships strategy is an ambitious programme to build Financial Services links with sophisticated financial centres around the world … that will provide new levels of market access and new channels into emerging and developing economies for UK businesses. That strategy will utilise the new flexibilities at our disposal as we leave the EU," the official pointed out. The transcript of Hammond’s speech was published on the UK government’s website.

    READ MORE: People are Not Frightened of No Deal Brexit — Gavin Felton

    In December, five UK business groups representing hundreds of thousands of companies urged in a statement the British lawmakers to put aside their disputes and stop a no-deal Brexit. The statement was co-signed by British Chambers of Commerce, the Confederation of British Industry, Confederation of British Industry, Institute of Directors, and the manufacturers' organization, EEF.

    They said UK firms "have been watching in horror as politicians have focused on factional disputes rather than practical steps needs to move forward."

    Businesses are reaching the "point of no return," the statement reads, with many putting in place expensive contingency plans, while for hundreds of thousands others who are yet to start planning it is already too late.

    READ MORE: UK Sets Up 5 Business Councils to Advise Prime Minister on Post-Brexit Policies

    "This is not where we should be," the groups stressed. They said a no-deal Brexit would destroy supply chains, divert investment, and lead to massive new customs costs and disadvantages to the United Kingdom’s service sector.

    The United Kingdom is set to leave the European Union in late March. The two sides have reached a withdrawal deal. However, it has not yet been approved by UK lawmakers, prompting fears of a no-deal Brexit both in Brussels and in London.

    READ MORE: UK May Lose 10,500 Financial Services Jobs After Brexit — EY Brexit Tracker


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