LONDON (AFP): New UK Finance Minister Nadhim Zahawi on Tuesday will outline his plans to control inflation and “seize the opportunities of Brexit”, despite fears London is going too far in deregulation.
Zahawi, who replaced Rishi Sunak as Chancellor of the Exchequer after his resignation earlier this month, will set out his vision in his first speech in the role at London’s Mansion House amid a tumultuous political period in Britain.
Sunak’s departure alongside other government figures led to Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s resignation and now a bitter fight is playing out to become the next leader.
Zahawi will hope to push that all aside when he addresses London’s business representatives, promising to “control inflation, boost private sector recovery and deliver a post-Brexit vision for financial services”, the finance ministry said.
The minister will commit to “repeal hundreds of pieces of retained EU law and replacing them with a coherent and agile approach to financial regulation that is right for us” in Britain, the ministry added in a statement.
Zahawi subscribes to the same view as his predecessor, Sunak — a candidate running to take over from Johnson — who had promised a new “Big Bang” in the finance sector after the deregulation of the 1980s.
The statements will fuel fears of a showdown with the Bank of England, while some media reports say the government will seek to reduce regulators’ powers.
Bank of England officials including governor Andrew Bailey have defended the institution’s independence after criticism over being too timid in the fight against inflation.
UK inflation spiked in May to a 40-year peak of 9.1 percent, a level set to hit double figures this year.
A parliamentary report in June warned against “any inappropriate weakening of the UK’s strong regulatory standards”, which could “reduce the financial resilience of the UK’s financial system and undermine international confidence in that system”.
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