Financial sector is priority for United Kingdom in Brexit negotiations

Jes Staley boss of Barclays urged Theresa May to lower taxes at a meeting of finance chiefs at No 10

The Chancellor said European Union must let go of ideas of punishing Britain for voting to leave the bloc and stop "constantly threatening members" who want to walk away.

One senior minister said: "How are we supposed to know what kind of Brexit is best if we aren't being provided with our own assessments of what they mean for our future prospects?"

Philip Hammond has described European Union fears that a soft Brexit could encourage other countries to leave the trading bloc as "paranoia", saying Brussels should be doing more to keep existing members rather than "punish" Britain.

In an interview with the German newspaper, Mr Hammond said: "We hear a willingness and enthusiasm in the United States of America and from many other countries around the world to make new trade deals with us". Hammond last night told a Berlin dinner to stop trying to punish the United Kingdom for its decision and start making it clear what the country wants from a post-Brexit trade deal.

The demand for German auto parts used in Britain is high, with German manufacturers supplying the British automobile industry directly, and also indirectly involved in the production of German and other European cars which are exported to Britain, stated a report from Xinhua.

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Asked if a soft Brexit would encourage other countries to leave, the Chancellor said: "I can understand that paranoia". But imagine you are running a successful, thriving club. "The completion of the first phase of the talks must have given them confidence", he added.

"You can not really run a club if you are constantly threatening members who decide to leave".

Excluding the "pivotal" area of financial services from a Brexit deal could spark a global crash, Philip Hammond and David Davis are warning.

As May plots Britain's course for Brexit, London's vast financial services industry is scrambling to prepare for losing access to the world's biggest trading bloc, the City of London's biggest challenge since at least the 2007-2009 financial crisis.

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