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Hammond Said to Be Ready to Ditch EU Single-Market on Brexit

  • U.K. Treasury drafting blueprint to preserve banks’ privileges
  • Officials say Hammond plan aims to match single-market rights
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Hammond Said to Ditch EU Single-Market

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Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond is ready to accept that Britain may have to give up membership of the European Union’s single market -- and U.K. banks’ crucial access to clients on the continent -- to achieve the immigration restrictions that voters have demanded, according to two officials familiar with his thinking.

With the government staking its credibility on regaining control over U.K. borders after the June 23 Brexit vote, Hammond considers it unrealistic to expect actual membership of the single market after Britain leaves the EU, the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the discussions were private. Instead, Treasury staff are drawing up their own blueprint which they hope will allow Britain’s financial services firms to retain similar levels of access to Europe, the officials said.