Britain’s chancellor has assured the country’s financial sector that it will “continue to flourish” after Brexit.
Speaking at the Bloomberg Global Regulatory Forum in London on Tuesday, Philip Hammond said the deal his government has agreed with the EU “protects the UK’s position as a global financial centre and allows the hugely mutually beneficial financial services trade with the EU to continue to flourish”.
He struck a positive tone in a chaotic week, if not year, for the government as the planned Monday parliamentary vote on the deal was delayed.
Mr Hammond also stated the EU was not to be credited with the creation and success of London as a financial hub. Instead, "it was our unique history and networks, supported by a few specific advantages", he told the forum.
These include, said Mr Hammond, English being the global language of business, a legal system favourable to international commerce, Britain's educational institutions and the nation's technology sector. The combination fostered an "ecosystem of prosperity", he said, which he said the government would "maintain and build" on post-Brexit.
The chancellor also mentioned the government’s plans to look outside of Europe for future market relationships.
“As we leave the EU, we are more focused than ever on strengthening ties with the big, established markets, beyond Europe, from the US to Japan and building new links with the fast-growing markets in the east – including in particular, India and China – who, as their middle-classes grow in size and prosperity, will rapidly increase their demand for financial services in terms of volume and in terms of sophistication,” he said.
Mr Hammond’s comments differed significantly from his host, Michael Bloomberg, the former Mayor of New York and founder of Bloomberg LP.
Mr Bloomberg, who is rumoured to be considering a US presidential run, told a press conference in London earlier in the day: "I do think that exiting the EU is bad for the world, I don't think it's good for Europe and I certainly don't think it's good for the UK." He added that he thought it was best for Britain to stay in the EU.