Theresa May is reported to have struck a “tentative deal” with Brussels that would give the UK’s financial services sector continued access to European markets after Brexit.
Such a deal would give the United Kingdom the same level of access to the EU as major US and Japanese firms, while however tying it to many EU finance rules for years to come, the Times reported citing anonymous government sources.
British and EU negotiators agreed on all aspects of their future relationship on services and the exchange of data, according to the paper.
“Under the services deal, the EU would guarantee UK companies access to European markets as long as British financial regulation remained broadly aligned with that of Europe,” according to the Times .
“Neither side would unilaterally deny market access without first going through independent arbitration and providing a notice period significantly longer than the current 30 days,” it added.
According to the Times, the agreement is for a high-level declaration of intent, but the technical details are yet to be hammered out.
A senior figure in the City told the Times: ‘When it comes to it, countries like France are going to do everything it can to make life hard for the City. It is one thing to have warm words in a political declaration that is not binding and tying it down in a legal document.’
Back in July Brussels had rejected UK’s proposals on the future of financial services following Brexit.
Currently, as an EU member, banks and insurers in Britain enjoy unfettered access to customers across the bloc in all financial activities. Equivalence, however, covers a more limited range of business and excludes major activities such as commercial bank lending.