United Kingdom will leave the EU customs union- PM May's spokesman

Brexit
Brexit Phase Two EU-UK Trade Talks

Brexit Brexit Phase Two EU-UK Trade Talks

Financial services, which account for about 12 percent of Britain's economic output, potentially have a lot to lose from the end of unfettered access to the European Union market once Britain leaves in March 2019.

REC chief executive Kevin Green said: "Businesses have been kept waiting too long for the Government to provide clarity and our data shows that employer confidence in the economy is really suffering because of this, which is starting to impact hiring plans".

Anti-Brexit campaign groups are increasingly putting their differences aside and uniting behind a push to give parliament and the electorate a chance to reconsider the decision to leave once it is clear what kind of deal the prime minister has been able to negotiate.

Although ministers have made some broad speeches on the subject, the cabinet has yet to agree the details of a proposed settlement on financial services, and Catherine McGuinness, policy chair at the City of London Corporation, said without further clarification, the sector had been counting on the paper to clarify government policy.

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"We will keep under review what is the best way of advocating our position - be that in private discussions with the European Union, speeches, or a formal position paper", a spokesperson said. "We very much want to see it". An internal report said: "Government has all the right objectives on customs but - thus far - no proposals have been set forward that can deliver".

The EU now has the closest ties with non-EU member Norway, which has full access to the EU's single market, followed by Switzerland, which has extensive access to it.

Still, finance executives say relations with the government have improved since Britain and the European Union last month agreed to the principle of a transition deal and to talks about future trade relationships.

Asked about the meetings which led to her departure from office, Priti Patel said: "I apologise for what happened".

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"This is the freedom that the British public voted for, these are the freedoms that we should be securing through the negotiations and through the trade discussions that are taking place".

Negotiating such a deal will be problematic.

A report this month by Cambridge Econometrics, an economics consultancy, suggested Britain's economy could be as much as 3% smaller by 2030 than it would be if Britain left the European Union with no transition or trade deal.

But any attempt to keep the United Kingdom in the customs union - which would stop the country from negotiating new free trade deals around the world - or free movement rules are likely to be fiercely contested by Tory MPs.

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