Blog: Brussels ‘petrified’ over UK ‘Singapore-on-Thames’ Brexit model – ‘ditch the EU!’ – Daily Express

Speaking to Express.co.uk, former Brexit Party MEP Ben Habib, urged the Prime Minister to cut regulations and embrace a Singapore-on-Thames financial model. This would require the UK to drop regulations and taxes in order to entice companies to remain in Britain and was touted as a potential strategy during Brexit. If the UK were to do this, Mr Habib claimed it would create a “nimble” and successful trading nation free from the EU’s clutches.

Mr Habib said: “The EU is petrified of an independent and nimble trading UK.

“That’s why we must become that entity.

“We should be the Singapore-on-Thames.

“Deregulate the City, cut taxes, ditch the EU and trade with the world. The EU will be petrified.”

Former chancellor Philip Hammond proposed the idea of cutting taxes and deregulating the City after Brexit.

The EU has since expressed its concern over the model as it would violate the level-playing field provisions within the Trade and Cooperation Agreement.

If either side violated elements of the agreement, punitive measures can be taken out with negotiator Michel Barnier, warning the zero-tariff element of the deal could be dropped.

The EU has persistently warned the UK over any drop in its regulations and therefore did not give the City equivalence.

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By doing this, the financial district has to adhere to two sets of regulations rather than just one.

Due to this, there is the fear some firms may relocate to the EU’s financial sectors in Frankfurt or Amsterdam.

The EU and UK are currently negotiating a memorandum of understanding for financial firms although it is not thought equivalence will be granted.

Amid the EU’s threats towards the UK, Mr Habib claimed the Prime Minister must be prepared to go to war with Brussels in order to protect the financial district.

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He added: “We must be prepared to have a scrap with them.

“Our financial district is very important and we shouldn’t bring the EU to heel.

“I don’t want a financial services deal with them at all, we should be targeting the Far East and Africa.

“That’s where we should be going. The growth areas in the world are not the EU.

“We must stop this narrative that we can’t survive unless we have the EU.

“Grow some confidence and deregulate the city. Jettison EU regulations.

“And so what if we lose business to the EU, they need us more than we need them.”

In 2019, financial services contributed £132billion to the UK economy which accounted for 6.9 percent of economic output.

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