Brexit: Philip Hammond Suggests UK Won't Cut Taxes Or Regulations

Philip Hammond at NATO Summit Wales

A government source said freedom of movement will end when Brexit occurs in March 2019, and a time-limited implementation period would then follow.

The PM's official spokesman said yesterday that Brexit would not be watered down, adding: 'Free movement will end in March 2019.

But the government has moderated its position since the surprise election setback.

He said he had not been involved in any Cabinet talks on extending free movement for up to three years after Brexit.

Former Brexit minister David Jones said: 'I was surprised to see the Chancellor's comments.

Some three million European Union nationals, among them about 800,000 Poles, live in the UK.

The scheme could also help firms access finance after Brexit, because now businesses rely on the European Investment Fund, which they may lose access to after the UK's withdrawal from the EU. This position appears at odds with Hammond's signal that free movement would continue for a limited period in all but name, with the added requirement that migrants would have to register in the UK.




"But she also said: 'By this I do not mean that we will seek some form of unlimited transitional status in which we find ourselves stuck forever in some kind of permanent political purgatory".

The EU is adamant that discussions can not move on to the shape of the future relationship until initial issues are settled over the rights of EU citizens in Britain (and vice versa), and agreement on Britain's "divorce" bill.

"Businesses urgently need to know what a new system will look like - during transition and afterwards", the main industry body, Confederation of British Industry, said last week after the government announced a review of the impact of European Union immigration on Britain.

Citigroup, Bank of America and Morgan Stanley as well as Britain's Barclays have all indicated in the last month they are finalizing plans to set up subsidiaries within the EU.

Separately, Hammond also denied that he wanted to turn the United Kingdom into a deregulated, low-tax economy, telling France's Le Monde: "I often hear it said that Britain is considering participating in unfair competition in regulation and tax. That is neither our plan nor our vision for the future", he told the newspaper.

The comments come after days of rowing between Cabinet colleagues about migration after Brexit - as Mrs May is off on her holidays. From this date, workers from the European Union coming to Britain will have to register until a permanent post-Brexit immigration policy is implemented. He argued that after Brexit, the country would keep a "social, economic and cultural model that is recognisably European".

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