11.01.2018 | Merkel rebels against Macron as Germany plans to include financial industry in Brexit deal
Source - The Daily Express
Proposals from Berlin would see British banks retain access to European Union markets after Brexit - but only if the UK continues paying into Brussels coffers.
Under plans being considered by the remaining 27 member states, Britain could even keep access to the single market in exchange for the substantial payments.
France, eager to lure British banks and big business from London to Paris, is understood to want to exclude financial services from the deal. Germany had until now stood united with France when it came to Brexit and Emmanuel Macron had made a series of speeches to try and cement his position as a leader in Europe.
But according to European diplomats, government figures in the EU are now trying to come up with a wide-reaching trade deal dependent on Britain paying some sort of fee.
The EU budget will see a shortfall of about £11billion a year after 2020, when the UK’s transition period comes to an end.
And it seems member states are keen to try and use Britain to plug the gap.
One source said: “If Britain wants to trade budget contributions for access to the single market for the City, there will be many takers.”
Yesterday, German officials insisted Britain had no hope of securing a trade agreement that included financial services unless it agreed to budget contributions.
Both Chancellor Philip Hammond and Brexit Secretary David Davis arrived in Germany yesterday on a charm offensive as they hope to convince the EU to back down on its firm position any trade deal cannot include financial services as long as Britain leaves the single market.
The pair will urge 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."
Although it appears Germany has backed down on including financial services in the trade deal, officials say they will reject any agreement to include financial services unless Britain pays up.
EU Budget Commissioner Gunther Oettinger told reporters UK payments after Britain’s planned post-Brexit transition phase ends in 2021 were a matter for the negotiations.
But he added “the UK could reflect upon” how non-EU countries like Norway and Switzerland pay to participate in some European projects.
Mr Hammond, asked if the UK would be ready to pay into the EU budget for bank access, said: “We will talk about all of these things.”
And he refused to rule out making substantial payments to the EU after Brexit in order to secure market access for British-based financial service firms.