Britain has yet to decide when to trigger Article 50 to begin the formal process of leaving the European Union, newly appointed finance minister Philip Hammond said on Thursday.
When asked by LBC radio whether Article 50 would be invoked by the close of this year, he said: “No, that’s a decision that we haven’t made yet.”
“We’ve now got the key players who will be involved in this decision-making process in place and when the prime minister has finished making her appointments later today I am sure that we will sit down and start to talk about Britain’s negotiating strategy and how we are going to take it forward,” he said.
When pressed on when Britain would trigger the formal divorce procedure, he said he could not answer that question yet.
Hammond also said that the decision to vote for Brexit would mean Britain leaves the single market but Britain would then have to negotiate a new deal as trading partners, rather than members.
“We will come out of the single market as a result of our decision to leave the European Union,” he said.
“The question is how we negotiate with the European Union not from the point of view of being members but from the point of view of being close neighbours and trade partners”