Britain’s leaders on Sunday signaled their resolve to play hardball in talks with the European Union, suggesting they will look for partners elsewhere if the bloc restricts access to its huge market.
Under pressure to reveal her Brexit blueprint, British Prime Minister Theresa May’s office said she will call for a “truly global Britain” that is more open to the world when she sets out plans for negotiations with the EU in a speech later this week. Treasury chief Philip Hammond told the German newspaper Welt am Sonntag that Britain is prepared to “do whatever we have to do,” including turning away from Europe to other markets, to protect its economy.
“If Great Britain left the European Union without an agreement on market access, then we could at least in the short term suffer economic damage,” Hammond was quoted as saying. “In this case, we could be forced to change our economic model.”
Hammond also suggested that Britain could cut taxes to encourage companies to move to the U.K.