Hammond vows to save top bankers from EU migration curbs

Hammond vows to save top bankers from EU migration curbs

Philip Hammond has pledged to maintain free movement for top bankers after Britain leaves the EU.

The Chancellor also told a House of Lords committee that EU policymakers would harm their own interests if they tried to use Brexit to undermine the position of London as the continent’s principal financial centre.

He insisted post-Brexit controls on free movement should “not strike fear into the heart of Japanese financial institutions”, as he responded to pleas by Tokyo to ensure EU nationals could continue to work in Britain.

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Referring to the prospects of free movement control, the chancellor said: “We would use it in a sensible way to facilitate movement of highly skilled people between financial institutions and businesses.”

Mr Hammond’s comments came as the House of Lords EU Justice sub-committee, under the chairmanship of Baroness Kennedy of The Shaws, prepares to hold an inquiry into the consequences of Brexit on the rights currently enjoyed in the UK by EU citizens, workers and companies.

On 13 September, the committee will receive evidence from leading academics.

The UK’s membership of the EU has meant British and EU citizens enjoy the right to move, work and operate throughout the bloc’s single market.

The vote in June to leave the EU has placed great uncertainty as to the extent to which these rights will continue to operate outside the EU.

The Lords inquiry will provide the committee with the chance to question whether the rights already exercised under EU law by UK nationals will be legally enforceable as ‘acquired’, and therefore still enforceable once Britain leaves the EU.