BREXIT THREAT: Barnier REJECTS May’s financial deal – EU ‘WILL control’ UK’s market access
MICHEL Barnier sent a warning shot to Theresa May over reports she had sealed a Brexit deal that would give UK financial services firms continued access to European markets.
Brexit: Barnier says ‘much more time’ is needed to strike deal
Government sources claim British and European Union negotiators have reached a deal on all aspects on the future partnership on series and the exchange of data.
Under the agreement, UK financial services firms would be guaranteed access to European markets as long as British financial regulations remained aligned with Europe.
In what would be considered a victory to the Prime Minister, reports said neither would be able to deny access to their markets without first consulting an independent arbitration panel and providing a notice period longer than the 30 days currently in place.
But Mr Barnier warned Mrs May that the EU will never give up its right to autonomously deny access to its financial markets.
Michel Barnier scuppers Theresa May’s Brexit deal for financial services
Writing on Twitter, the EU negotiator said: “The EU may grant and withdraw equivalence in some financial services autonomously.
“As with other third countries, EU is ready to have close regulatory dialogue with the UK in full respect for autonomy of both parties.”
News of the apparent deal broke after days of negotiating between Mrs May’s EU sherpa Oliver Robbins and European Commission officials in Brussels.
The so-called “equivalence” arrangement is often used by the EU, but doesn’t extend as far as Britain’s current wishes.
Under its current usage, market access can be revoked unilaterally with just one month’s notice.
Britain’s deal would be considered “enhanced equivalence” because despite signing up to Brussels’ financial services rulebook the country would be given a lengthy notice period before access is revoked if there is any deviation in standards.
Its governance would have to fall under a wider trade treaty, which would allow the UK and EU to change or set new regulations but only when they have consulted with each other.
Should Brussels decide the UK’s rules are no longer equivalent to its own, it would be able to notify Britain of its move to refuse market access to UK-based firms.
Brexit: ‘No deal’ better than being ‘handcuffed’ to EU says Tice
But there is expectations that there could be a arbitration panel to settle any disputes that arise from regulatory changes.
Despite the kickback from Mr Barnier, talks seem to be progressing well and the UK is confident a deal can be achieved by the end of November.
Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab said in a letter to the House of Common’s Brexit committee that he believes a deal is reachable within three weeks.
Mr Raab highlighted the Irish border as the negotiation’s biggest sticking point but said November 21 is a possible date to next give evidence to the committee.
In the memo, which was published on Wednesday evening, he said: “Despite our differences we are not that far from an agreement on the issue.
“The end is firmly in sight.”
The Brexit Secretary suggested November 21 as a possible date to give evidence, but promised to return “when a deal is finalised”
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