THERESA May has vowed Britain will not pay the European Union for access to its financial services market after Brexit. It emerged on Wednesday Germany would demand “substantial” payments to EU budgets if UK financial firms wanted to
operate in Europe. It was claimed Brexit negotiators would have to choose between Swiss and Norwegian models to get access for business. Both models would involve the UK continuing to pay into EU coffers. Philip Hammond last night refused to rule
out paying in to the EU in exchange for market access for UK firms, saying: “We will talk about all of these things.” But through her spokesman, the Prime Minister said: “We will not be paying for market access.” The spokesman told reporters: “The
government’s position is unchanged. “In developing our future partnership we will want to continue working together to promote the long-term economic development of our continent. “This will include continuing to take part in specific policies and
programmes where that is in our joint interest, making an ongoing contribution to cover our fair share of the costs involved.” His statement suggested the Government would not consider paying for access for financial services companies to be such
a joint programme. The idea that the UK would need to “pay to play” in Europe horrifies Brexiteers, who have repeatedly warned that continuing to pay into huge EU budgets would eb unacceptable. In a Lancaster House speech last year, Theresa May
promised the “days of Britain making vast contributions to the European Union every year will end” after Britain formally leaves the bloc. Trade experts warned that these payments may be unavoidable to ensure access for goods and services. However Mrs May is adamant she can get a better deal and has flatly refused to entertain the idea of paying up.