The UK hoped to reach an agreement on the role of the UK financial sector in Europe, which would allow mutual recognition of financial services rules between London and Brussels. But despite a “memorandum of understanding” provisionally concluded in March of this year allowing for engagement on financial sector issues, no “equivalency” agreement for the sector has been signed.
Last night, Mairead McGuinness, European Commissioner for Financial Services, also admitted that “no negotiations” were taking place to reach a deal.
The Irish politician stressed that with regard to equivalence, Brussels “is now looking at what will happen in the future”.
Ms McGuinness also argued that any agreement on financial services would be in “the best interests of the financial stability of the European Union”.
The commissioner, who was appointed in September 2020, added that Brussels did not have “poker cards” on financial services as she claimed that London had “very clear from the start that finance was not part of the conversation “during the initial negotiations on Trade and Cooperation Agreement.
For this reason, she claimed that the European Union will have several financial centers in the future.
Ms McGuinness said: ‘What this means for the European Union may not be a major financial center, because London was the main financial center of the European Union.
“He [London] now it’s outside so we’ll see from my experience and my point of view, centers for different services emerge whether it’s Frankfurt or Dublin or Amsterdam, you’re going to see that develop.
“I think there are opportunities for many Member States in this area.
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She said the European Commission would have regular dialogue and discussions with the UK on financial services issues.
The strict tone from Brussels comes after Chancellor Rishi Sunak pledged he would “sharpen” the competitive advantage of Britain’s financial services industry, now that the UK has left the EU.
In his first speech from Mansion House, traditionally an annual address given by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in the financial district of the City of London, Mr Sunak said earlier this month that Britain’s departure from the European Union was a unique opportunity to adapt the rules while maintaining high regulation. standards and open markets.
Brexit largely severed the City’s ties with EU investors, sparking the transfer of more than 7,500 financial jobs from London to new hubs in the bloc, with Amsterdam overtaking London to become the world’s largest clearinghouse for ‘actions in Europe.
In response, a UK government source said: “The EU really has no reason to deny the UK access to its financial markets and industries.”
A spokesperson for the European Commission said work on approving the “memorandum of understanding” was underway.