Britain will continue to fulfill its obligation to the European Union while it seeks to strengthen trade ties with world partners, the British finance minister said.
Philip Hammond spoke to reporters Friday in Brussels, where EU finance ministers are gathering for the regular Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN) meeting.
“Britain remains a fully engaged member of the European Union (EU) and I am here today for discussions with my finance minister colleagues,” said Hammond. “We will continue to take a full part. We will continue to abide by the rules, and the regulations, and the laws of the European Union for so long as we are members.”
Earlier this month, Hammond said the government could cut taxes to stay competitive as international banks have moved to transfer some of their London operations to the continent out of fear Britain would lose access to the EU’s single market as a result of Brexit.
In June 2016, Britain voted to leave the EU, but it is expected to launch two years of exit negotiations in late March and will remain a bloc member until the process is completed.
Hammond’s comments came hours before British Prime Minister Theresa May will meet with U.S. President Donald Trump in Washington to begin drawing up a free trade deal linking the countries after Britain leaves the EU.