Rishi Sunak Says Financial Services Agreement with EU “Did Not Happen”

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Rishi Sunak Says Financial Services Agreement with EU “Did Not Happen”


Britain’s attempt to strike a post-Brexit financial services deal with the EU “has not happened,” Rishi Sunak told City.

The sector was not covered by the UK’s last minute free trade deal when the Brexit transition period ended in December and the government has since sought an ‘equivalency’ deal with the bloc. .

But in Chancellor’s Mansion House’s traditional address to the city, Mr Sunak said, “This did not happen.

“Now we move forward, continuing to cooperate on issues of global finance, but each as a sovereign jurisdiction with its own priorities.

“We now have the freedom to do things differently and better, and we intend to use it to the fullest. “

The Chancellor said Britain needed a plan for the industry “which strengthens our competitive advantage while acting in the best interests of our citizens and communities”.

Part of this will include reforms to encourage more companies to list on the London Stock Exchange and the removal of some legacy EU regulatory requirements for commerce.

In his speech, Mr Sunak acknowledged the role of the financial services industry, contributing £ 76 billion in taxes annually and employing 2.3 million people.

An estimated 7,500 financial jobs have moved to EU hubs in the wake of Brexit, which saw UK companies lose so-called “passport” rights that had allowed them to trade more freely with European countries.

Since then, efforts – now seemingly abandoned – have focused on achieving “equivalency” status, where Brussels and Whitehall would each recognize that the other meets similar standards.

But there was frustration on the British side to the apparent intransigence of Europe in granting access to the bloc in a way that has already been granted to Canada, the United States, Australia, Hong Kong and Brazil.

In his speech on Thursday, Sunak insisted: “The EU will never have a reason to deny access to the UK due to poor regulatory standards.”

The Chancellor also touched on London’s dominant role in clearing – an activity sometimes described as plumbing the financial market which processes tens of trillions of euros in transactions each year and which has also been the subject of a fight with Brussels These last months.

Mr Sunak insisted he saw no reason why the UK “should not continue to provide clearing services to countries in the EU and around the world”.

Other topics covered in his Mansion House speech included guarantees of access to cash – a topic that has been on the agenda with the closure of free ATMs and bank branches – and requirements for companies to disclose their impacts on the environment.

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