Chris Cummings, Chief Executive, TheCityUK, said,
“Donald Tusk’s proposals for a new settlement for the UK within the EU is a key milestone in the reform negotiations to date. While there is still a long way to go, this provides a good basis for the Council of Ministers meeting in two weeks’ time. I am pleased to see that at the heart of proposals is a clear recognition of the need for the EU to be more competitive. It’s encouraging to see that the Prime Minister’s major calls around competitiveness have been recognised with an urging for the Commission to reduce regulatory burden, fully exploit the potential of the Single Market and advance trade negotiations with the US, Japan and other key partners. As have his proposals around fairness and protecting the interests of non-Eurozone Member States. Recognition that the EU is a union of more than one currency and securing meaningful clarification on ‘ever closer union’ was also a key proposal and one that is fundamental to the UK’s continued successful membership of the EU. Evidence from financial and related professional services has clearly shown that continued membership of a reformed EU is vital for UK competitiveness. The letter and accompanying text suggests practical changes that will help ensure the EU will be more competitive, outward looking and fit for purpose.
“London is the financial centre of Europe and the links between financial markets in the UK and the EU are fundamental to the prosperity of the whole continent. We know the UK is not alone in calling for change in the EU and the negotiation text today is proof of the effort invested to date to secure practical reform.
“However, as President Tusk underlines in his letter, nothing is agreed until everything is agreed and there are still discussions to be had. All eyes now turn to the upcoming Council of Ministers Meeting in February. Business now eagerly awaits agreement around this blueprint for reform and clarity around a referendum date. Further delay will prolong unwanted uncertainty.”