UK promises to shield top bankers from migration reforms

A number of financial firms are considering fleeing 'The City' after the Brexit vote

UK promises to shield top bankers from migration reforms

Dominic Lipinski / PA

The UK's Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond has said that top bankers will not be affected by immigration reforms as he sought to ease concerns among financial firms while Britain prepares to leave the EU.

These comments came after officials in Tokyo issued a 15-page memo outlining its Brexit concerns. It looked for clarifications regarding the UK's future access to the Single Market and the rules that firms based in the UK who have non-British employees will face.

It wrote: "What Japanese businesses in Europe most wish to avoid is the situation in which they are unable to discern clearly the way the negotiations are going, only grasping the whole picture at the last minute. It is imperative that the outcome is free of unpleasant surprises and reducing the risks emanating from uncertainty."

Mr Hammond told a committee, "We would use it [free movement] in a sensible way [to] facilitate movement of highly skilled people between financial institutions and businesses."

He added that aggressive moves from the EU are likely to drive businesses to locations like New York, rather than the EU's financial hubs.

European Council president Donald Tusk has upped the pressure on the UK to begin the process of leaving the Union. "Ball in UK court to start negotiations. In everybody’s best interest to start asap," he tweeted ahead of his meeting with British PM Theresa May.