Brexit talks at last: Treasury chiefs FINALLY get to work on how we can CUT ties with EU

TALKS with big business over quitting the EU have started, it emerged yesterday – six weeks after the referendum.

Theresa May - UK and EU flags

GETTY     The UK has started talks with businesses over leaving the EU

And one of the key issues is whether to stay in the single market or not.Officials at the Treasury and new Department for have made contact with the City about the best way to cut ties.

The discussions come as ministers weigh up a series of options for what Britain’s future relationship with the will look like after the country has left the bloc.

The Scandinavian nation does not belong to the EU but is in the wider European Economic Area.It is signed to the single market and free movement of citizens.

The survey by the ConservativeHome website for Tory activists showed that 69 per cent want a deal where the UK “does not remain a single market member, and immigration is subject to full control rather than a time-limited emergency brake.”

Phillip Hammond

GETTY    Chancellor Phillip Hammond has held a series of meeting with top business lobby groups

David Davis

GETTY     David Davis has been dubbed Minister for Brexit

Just over 26 per cent of respondents want Britain to have a Norway-style link to the EU afterA series of meetings have been held between the Chancellor Philip Hammond and top business lobby groups including the Confederation of British Industry, the British Bankers’ Association and City of London.

They have also had input from David Davis, the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union – dubbed Minister for Brexit.

Tory MP Philip Hollobone said last night: “I think we can have confidence in his ability to get this right.

“So long as he is in charge, we can be reassured.”Officials are also understood to have discussed the issue of so-called “passporting rights”, which allow UK-based banks to set up branches in any countries in the European Economic Area.

Officials say the talks have revealed a willingness among some top figures to scrap passporting despite early calls to stay in the single market from some quarters.

Mark Boleat

GETTY    The City of London’s policy chief Mark Boleat attended the meeting with the Chancellor

The City of London’s policy chief Mark Boleat, who attended the meeting last month, said the issue of passporting was key for the Treasury.“Does Brexit mean the loss of five per cent of investment banking jobs? In which case – OK.

“If it means the loss of 30 per cent of these jobs, then what’s the implication of tax revenue?”

BBA chief executive Anthony Browne said: “We are not calling for membership of the single market – what we want is full two-way access to EU markets.”

Officials want to draw up a plan of action before Article 50 is triggered and negotiations begin in earnest.“We are in the process of consulting various stakeholders, including the City of London, to ensure our approach will get the best deal for Britain,” said the Department for Exiting the EU.”

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The UK should have a simple trading relationship with the EU without any non-trade related obligations as hss China, USA and many other independent countries. With countries queuing up for trade deals with us, the EU needs us more than we need them.

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