LONDON (AP) — British Brexit Secretary David Davis told London financial-sector bosses that he is "not really interested" in seeking a transitional deal with the European Union to soften the process of the U.K.'s exit from the bloc, the Financial Times reported Friday.
The newspaper cited an internal memo of Davis' Nov. 15 meeting with the City of London Corporation, which runs the British capital's financial district.
It quoted him as saying a transitional deal "could be perceived as a delay to the process that is not something the Government can abide."
It also quoted Davis as saying he'd consider a transitional deal to "be kind" if the EU sought one — a comment likely to annoy EU officials, who accuse Britain of holding unrealistic views about the likely terms of Brexit.
The newspaper reports Davis as saying it's unlikely Britain will remain in the EU's single market for goods and services.
He was quoted as saying that Britain's opening approach to the EU would be to offer "open access on all services and goods without tariffs in the U.K." and that he was looking for a future trading relationship "somewhere in the middle of the models for Turkey, Switzerland and Norway" — non-EU nations with differing levels of access to the bloc.
The Department for Exiting the European Union said the document did not "properly reflect" Davis' views or government policy.
The City of London Corporation told the newspaper that the note "was the City's interpretation of our meeting" with Davis.
Many in Britain's financial sector fear London could lose its status as Europe's financial capital if barriers are imposed with the EU after Brexit.
The idea of a transitional arrangement so businesses can adapt to new arrangements has been suggested by Bank of England Governor Mark Carney.