Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond plans to miss the regular meeting of European Union finance ministers for a second consecutive month, as Britain’s fragile relationship with the rest of the bloc becomes increasingly strained.
Hammond, who met his EU counterparts for the first and only time in September, will leave Tuesday’s discussions in Brussels on the bloc’s fight against tax evasion and money laundering to his deputy, Chief Secretary to the Treasury David Gauke. That means that even if he turns up to December’s ministerial gathering, Hammond will have cut himself off from the EU’s economic and financial discussions for 12 weeks.
“This is a very delicate question,” Slovak Finance Minister Peter Kazimir, who’ll lead the discussions, told reporters as he entered the meeting. “I’m looking forward to see Philip again with us.”
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