British controls on immigration following the country’s referendum decision to leave the European Union must not be damaging for the economy, finance minister Philip Hammond was quoted as saying in the Daily Telegraph story on Friday.

Hammond told newspaper that Britain would use any new immigration powers “responsibly” in comments that could ease concerns among investors that the country might be heading for an acrimonious divorce with its main trading partners in the EU.

“We’ve got to be clear about one thing – there’s an implicit term of the mandate we received from the British people,” Hammond said in an interview with the newspaper.

Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond waits to greet Hong Kong's Chief Secretary for Administration, Carrie Lam, at number 11 Downing Street in London, Britain September 26, 2016. REUTERS/Neil Hall - RTSPHJQ

Britain’s Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond waits to greet Hong Kong’s Chief Secretary for Administration, Carrie Lam, at number 11 Downing Street in London, Britain September 26, 2016. REUTERS/Neil Hall – RTSPHJQ

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