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Britain will not reverse Brexit, Hammond tells CEOs in Davos
Britain will not be reversing Brexit, Finance Minister Philip Hammond told business chiefs in Davos.
“Britain will be leaving the EU on the 29th of March 2019,” Hammond said. “This decision is not going to be reversed. That is a matter of political reality.”
Hammond said it was important to have an arrangement which allowed free trade between Britain and the world’s largest trading bloc to continue.
But he said any Brexit trade deal should be both bespoke and ambitious.
“Off-the-shelf deal - Canada and Norway - is not the right model for Britain or the EU,” Hammond said at the World Economic Forum. “This is something more ambitious than any trade deal that has been agreed in the past.”
A European Council meeting in March should confirm what the British call the implementation period, also widely known as the transition period.
He rejected a question about whether Britain would opt for the Norway or Canada model if forced to choose: “Every deal the EU has done is bespoke,” he said.
Hammond said Britain “shouldn’t start with a process which throws away the regulatory alignment between our economies as a starting point.”
“Starting with what we have got and working out what we need to subtract is more fruitful than starting with a blank sheet of paper,” Hammond said.