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Chancellor's speech

Hammond wants free EU trade for financial services

Philip Hammond: ‘every trade deal the EU has ever done has been unique’

Chancellor Philip Hammond will today insist that the EU allows financial services to be part of Britain’s post-Brexit trade deal with the remaining bloc.

His comments in a keynote speech on Wednesday will attempt to defy EU attempts to prevent Britain “cherry picking” from existing agreements.

He will say that every trade deal the EU has ever done has been unique.

“The EU has never negotiated the same arrangement twice,” Hammond will say, pointing to the bloc’s trade deals with Turkey, Canada, Singapore, South Korea and Switzerland.

He will explain why it “makes sense” for Britain and the EU to continue to work together on financial services, and that the sector should be part of a formal Free Trade Agreement (FTA).

He will say: “It is time to address the sceptics who say a trade deal including financial services cannot be done because it has never been done before.

“To them I say every trade deal the EU has ever done has been unique. The EU has never negotiated the same arrangement twice.

“It has bespoke relationships with Turkey, Canada, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland.

“A trade deal between the UK and the EU must start from the reality of today; that our economies, including in financial services, are interconnected; that our regulatory frameworks are identical.”

His speech comes days after Prime Minister Theresa May said Britain will not seek passporting rights for financial services firms, which allows British financial firms to sell their services right across the EU.

The prime minister said instead she would try to secure access to the EU’s market for financial services in a new free trade deal.

Mr Hammond will add: “Our markets are already deeply interconnected and we have demonstrated how we can work together over the past decade as we have repaired and defended the financial stability of our continent.

“If it could be done with Canada or the USA, it could be done with the UK – the EU’s closest financial services partner by far.

“So I am clear not only that it is possible to include financial services within a trade deal, but that it is very much in our mutual interest to do so.”

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