Chancellor Phillip Hammond Admits “Brexit Fog” in terms of Investment

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British Chancellor Phillip Hammond has said he understands that there is some uncertainty surrounding Britain leaving the EU.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, he said it is business was “quite understandably… waiting for the fog of Brexit to clear”.

He went on to say, however, that some businesses were investing in Britain due to the falling price of sterling.

He added that business was waiting “to have a better understanding what the future looks like.

“But other businesses that are not so dependent on access to European market, on trade barriers have continued to invest.

“Send out a clear message that we’ve reinvented ourselves”

“The UK is now seen as a buying opportunity because of the depreciation of the currency and the fact that fundamentally we are still a large market with 65 million affluent consumers.”

Hammond went on to say that Britain was ready for the challenges after Brexit and ready to reinvent itself, adding, “If we were to be, by some catastrophe, closed off from those [European] markets we would have to reinvent ourselves.

“And I just want to send out a clear message that we’ve reinvented ourselves before… we will do so again if we have to.”

Wolfgang Schaeuble, German finance minister said that Brexit would be more complicated than opening speeches, but Britain would remain an important partner to Europe.   He added that both parties had to manage Brexit “to minimise or to avoid any damage to the UK as well as for Europe”.

“The UK remains a very important partner.”

Mr Hammond stated that the timeframe will be long term and it won’t just be about negotiating a free trade deal. He envisions plenty of negotiations.

The government will trigger Article 50 by the end of March.  Article 50 is the formal process for leaving the EU.

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