The UK hoped to strike a deal 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 preliminary agreement in March of this year on a “memorandum of understanding” allowing involvement in financial sector affairs, no sector “equivalence” agreement has been signed.
Last night, Mairead McGuinness, European Commissioner for Financial Services, also admitted that there were “no negotiations” about a deal being struck.
The Irish politician stressed that Brussels is “now looking at what will happen in the future” when it came to equality.
Ms McGuinness also argued that any financial services agreement would be in the “interest of the financial stability of the European Union”.
The commissioner, who was appointed in September 2020, added that Brussels had no “poker cards” on financial services because she claimed London had “made it very clear from the outset that finance was not part of the conversation” during the first negotiations on the Trade and Cooperation Agreement.
Therefore, she claimed that the European Union would have multiple financial centers in the future.
Ms McGuinness said: “What it does mean for the European Union may not be one major financial center as London was the major financial center for the European Union.
“It [London] now is outside so we will see in my experience and my opinion some centers for different services are emerging be it Frankfurt, Dublin or Amsterdam you will see this develop.
“I think there are opportunities in this area for many Member States.
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She said the European Commission would have regular dialogue and discussions with the UK on financial services matters.
The stern tone from Brussels comes after Chancellor Rishi Sunak promised he would “sharpen” the competitive advantage of the UK’s financial services sector now that the UK had left the EU.
In his first Mansion House speech, traditionally an annual speech 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 tailor the rules while enforcing strict regulations. standards and open markets.
Brexit has largely severed the city’s ties with investors in the EU, triggering a shift of more than 7,500 financial jobs from London to new hubs in the bloc, with Amsterdam leapfrogging London to become Europe’s largest stock trading center.
In response, a UK government source said: “The EU has no real reason to deny the UK access to their financial markets and industries.”
A spokesman for the European Commission said work on the adoption of the “memorandum of understanding” is underway.