Brexit: David Frost on chances of financial services agreement

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During Brexit trade negotiations throughout last year, the issue of financial services was largely ignored, but the City of London’s access to the European Union’s markets has yet to return to anywhere close to normal. Brussels is yet to make a move on whether UK financial rules are “equivalent” to regulation in the bloc – a key condition for granting market access. The EU will only resume its equivalence assessments once its 27 remaining member states formally back a new regulatory cooperation framework with Britain.

However the Bank of England Governor has painted a damning picture of the lack of progress being made on the issue, telling a news conference: “On equivalence, I think it’s fair to say that nothing really has moved forwards.”

On Tuesday, Mr Bailey warned he has no intention of loosening financial rules if the UK sought to attract foreign business to Brexit Britain.

He said in a letter to Chancellor Rishi Sunak: “The UK’s reputation for strong standards, independent regulation and financial stability has been and will remain a crucial component of its attractiveness to internationally active financial institutions.”

But Britons have now firmly lost patience with the EU’s stance on financial services with the UK, demanding Brexit Britain “pull the plug” on the bloc and focus on doing business with the rest of the world.

Reacting to Express.co.uk’s initial story, one reader fumed: “Pull the plug on the EU and focus on the rest of the world.

“Without the backing of the power and stability of the City of London the ECB, Deutsche Bank, BNP Paribas, Santander etc would collapse in months.”

A second person raged: “The single goal of all these threats is to force compliance with their rules, their standards.

“They need to wake up to the fact that they are not the world.

“They are one small and diminishing part of it.

“Forget them and get out there to the parts of the world that are growing and wish to trade freely without imposing their political dogma upon us. Forget the EU dinosaurs.”

Several other Express.co.uk readers demanded a full boycott from the UK of products coming from the EU.

One said: “We must force our vested interests who do trade with the EU to look elsewhere for trade by simply not buying the goods they import from the EU.

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“Let EU goods pile up on their shelves and they will soon get the message.”

Another person added: “Just stop buying anything from the EU where you can.

“This is the only way to get them to see sense and curtail their belligerence.”

The UK has lashed out at the EU and accused it of making demands it claims amount in practice to line-by-line alignment of rules, which Brussels denies.

Bank of England deputy governor Jon Cunliffe added: “We are committed to outcomes-based equivalence.

“Those are the arrangements that we have with many countries.

“But both sides need to want that.”

Earlier this month, Chancellor Mr Sunak warned equivalence “has not happened” and it is time to focus on improving London’s global competitiveness.

He said: “Now, we are moving forward, continuing to cooperate on questions of global finance, but each as a sovereign jurisdiction with our own priorities.

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

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