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UK seeks 'durable' EU financial services relationship

AFP  |  London 

British finance minister Sajid Javid vowed Tuesday to build a "durable relationship" for financial services in a post-Brexit trade deal, under plans he will outline in the coming months.

Javid's powerful Treasury department "will come forward with a white paper in the spring on the future of the UK financial sector", Javid said in London's free City AM daily business newspaper.

"From next year, we will have the freedom to make our own rules outside the constraints of the Single Market and customs union," he wrote.

"And ... we want a future relationship with the EU where we work together in pursuit of common interests." He added: "We will no longer be rule-takers, but we remain committed to the highest international standards of financial regulation and to shaping global rule-making.

"We may choose to do things in the same way as the EU if it works for the UK. But there will be differences, not least because as a global financial centre the UK needs to keep pace with and drive international standards."

Britain left the European Union on January 31 after nearly half a century of membership -- and the post-Brexit transition period ends on December 31.

The remarks on London's influential finance industry come one week after Catherine McGuinness, policy chair of the City of London Corporation, declared she was hopeful that a financial services deal can be reached with Brussels by the end of 2020.

Javid repeated London's desire to achieve "equivalence", whereby its rules for firms are considered sufficiently compatible in order to maintain access to the EU market.

"We will pursue fulfilling the joint commitment that the UK and EU have already made to conclude a full range of equivalence assessments by June 2020," he wrote.

"As we leave the EU with the same rules, achieving equivalence on day one should not be complicated.

"Of course, each side will only grant equivalence if it believes the other's regulations are compatible.

"But compatible does not mean identical, and both the UK and the EU have at different times recognised the importance of focusing on regulatory outcomes." Until now, London's Brexit focus has largely been on trade -- and the plight of Britain's symbolic fishing sector.

"If the EU, like us, wants a durable relationship, we should also include measures to directly address the long-term needs of industry for a reliable equivalence process," added Javid on Tuesday.

"This would provide the certainty on which internationally mobile businesses can depend.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, February 11 2020. 15:10 IST
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