TheCityUK responds to initial agreement between UK and EU

Miles Celic, Chief Executive Officer, TheCityUK, said,

This agreement in principle between the UK and the EU to move beyond phase 1 is a positive and encouraging step in the negotiations. We now look to next week’s European Council meeting to see these recommendations endorsed.

For the financial and related professional services industry, our critical issues must now be progressed. Negotiating arrangements on a transition with robust legal and regulatory underpinnings must be an absolute priority. The sand in the timer is running out: leave it too late and damage will be done to both the UK and the EU. European competitiveness will ultimately be weakened as functionality will likely leave Europe for other international financial centres.

Knowing what we are transitioning to is critical. We urge the UK and the EU to now focus on negotiating an ambitious, comprehensive and bespoke free trade agreement (FTA). Given the dominance of services to both the British and EU economies, it is essential that an FTA covers goods and services, and is based on mutual recognition and regulatory cooperation. This will be in the best interests of the UK, the EU27 and for global stability. It is also vital that existing services contracts can be grandfathered post Brexit. This will be vital for continuity of service to customers and clients. The FTA between the UK and the EU will be a significant part of ensuring this into the future.