Philip Hammond accuses the EU of not being clear on what relationship it wants with the UK after Brexit

British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond looks on as he meets journalists in Hong Kong, China April 8, 2016.

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British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond looks on as he meets journalists in Hong Kong, China April 8, 2016.
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REUTERS/Bobby Yip

  • Philip Hammond will say that the EU isn’t being publicly clear about the relationship it wants with the UK after Brexit.
  • In a speech in Berlin on Wednesday, the Chancellor will say: “It takes two to tango.”
  • Britain is pursuing a Brexit deal that includes financial services, but German Chancellor Angela Merkel is reportedly opposed.

The European Union isn’t being clear with the relationship it wants with Britain after Brexit, Philip Hammond will argue in a speech in Germany on Wednesday evening.

“In London, many feel that we have little, if any, signal of what future relationship the EU27 would like to have with a post-Brexit Britain,” the chancellor will say, according to a copy of his remarks circulated ahead of time.

He adds: “It takes two to tango.”

Hammond and David Davis, the Brexit Secretary, are currently in Germany asking businesses to help Britain forge a future UK-EU trade deal that includes financial services. The UK government ministers are hoping that with Germany’s help they can convince the EU to back down on its firm position that any trade deal cannot include financial services as long as Britain leaves the single market.

Hammond and Davis are urging German businesses to back their vision for “the most ambitious in the world” that should “cover the length and breadth of our economies including the service industries – and financial services.”

They warn that the insistence of Brussels on keeping financial services off the table in trade talks threatens a repeat of the “catastrophe” of the 2008 financial crash and subsequent eurozone-wide crisis.

In his speech on Wednesday evening at the Die Welt economic summit in Berlin, Hammond will say: “Since the referendum in the UK, there has been a marked asymmetry between the enthusiasm expressed by certain third countries to pursue future trade deals with the UK … and the relative silence, in public at least, from Europe on what the EU wants our future relationship to look like.

“I am saying this to you tonight, because I fear that many EU opinion-formers see this as a question only for British politicians, for British voters to resolve, before they engage with the EU27.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel believes that Britain’s desire to have financial services included in a future trade deal is another example of wanting to “have its cake and eat it,” the Telegraph reports.

Merkel is supposedly strongly opposed to Britain’s plan for “managed divergence” and is not likely to suggest support for Davis and Hammond’s ambitious plans when they visit Berlin.

The German Chancellor has warned Britain on numerous occasions that it cannot expect to cherrypick in Brexit negotiations with the EU.