October 1, 2018 / 5:31 PM / 18 days ago

UPDATE 1-Britain must not pull the rug out under trade with EU-Hammond

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BIRMINGHAM, England, Oct 1 (Reuters) - British finance minister Philip Hammond said on Monday rebalancing trade with the EU was a delicate process which should be done gradually, and that product standards should stay the same after Brexit.

“We have to be very, very careful and we need a very, very gradual process of rebalancing our trade between Europe and the rest of the world,” Hammond said at an event at the Conservative Party’s annual conference in Birmingham.

“Pulling the rug away from a very large part of our export business in the hope that we can then build up new business to replace it would be highly dangerous.”

Hammond said goods regulation in the EU had been stable for the last two decades therefore was relatively easy for British firms to stick with.

However, he was “much, much more sceptical” about adopting EU standards on financial services.

“This is a fast-developing area that could move in a direction that was very difficult for us,” he said. (Reporting by William James; editing by Elizabeth Piper)

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