- Chancellor says UK will do anything needed to stay competitive post-Brexit
- Suggests corporation tax and red tape could be slashed to lure in business
- Comes as Theresa May prepares to deliver speech setting out Brexit approach
- Jeremy Corbyn accuses government of risking a ‘trade war’ with Europe
Philip Hammond has delivered a stark warning to the EU that Britain will slash taxes and battle for business if the bloc tries to ‘wound’ us in the looming Brexit talks.
The Chancellor said the UK would do whatever it takes to ‘regain competitiveness’ if it is denied a good trade deal.
The threat comes as Theresa May prepares to flesh out her plans for cutting ties with Brussels – making clear that she is ready to leave the European single market and customs union in order to regain control of immigration.
In an interview with German newspaper Welt am Sonntag, Mr Hammond said the UK will alter track to ‘regain competitiveness’ if Britain suffers ‘economic damage’ from Brexit.
He said a move away from a European-style system would be needed, indicating cuts to corporation tax.
Asked if the UK’s future model is that of a ‘tax haven’, he said: ‘I personally hope we will be able to remain in the mainstream of European economic and social thinking.
‘But if we are forced to be something different, then we will have to become something different.
‘If we have no access to the European market, if we are closed off, if Britain were to leave the European Union without an agreement on market access, then we could suffer from economic damage at least in the short-term.
‘In this case, we could be forced to change our economic model and we will have to change our model to regain competitiveness.
‘And you can be sure we will do whatever we have to do. The British people are not going to lie down and say, too bad, we’ve been wounded. We will change our model, and we will come back, and we will be competitively engaged.’
Full article: Hammond’s threat to Europe: We’ll turn Britain into a TAX HAVEN if you try to ‘wound’ us in Brexit talks as he warns UK will do whatever it takes to ‘regain competitiveness’ (Daily Mail)