In his annual Mansion House speech, Chancellor Philip Hammond stated that any Brexit deal between the UK and the EU must put UK jobs and prosperity first.
Mr Hammond revealed that the government will seek a ‘bold and ambitious’ free trade agreement, that covers both goods and services. He also stated that mutually beneficial transitional arrangements will be made in order to avoid ‘disruption and dangerous cliff edges’.
Agreeing ‘frictionless’ customs arrangements to facilitate trade across UK borders is also a priority during Brexit talks, Mr Hammond said.
Additionally, the Chancellor pledged to keep taxes ‘as low as possible’, stating that higher taxes will ‘slow growth, undermine competitiveness and cost jobs’.
Responding to the Chancellor’s speech, Mike Cherry, National Chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), said: ‘In the negotiation itself, small businesses are looking to the government to secure an ambitious free trade agreement with the EU, while still allowing small firms to retain access to the skills and labour they need to grow and prosper.’
He continued: ‘While Brexit is the dominant issue of the day, our members are increasingly concerned about the weakness in the domestic economy. We therefore welcome the Chancellor’s commitment . . . to a low tax burden.’