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08 February 2018

POLITICO: EU finance official: UK will have to survive as third country

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The UK will not be part of the single market after it officially exits the EU and will have to access clients in the bloc like any other “third country,” a senior European Commission financial services official said.

Speaking at POLITICO’s Capital Markets Summit in Paris on Thursday, Olivier Guersent, director general of the Commission’s financial services directorate, said it was “perfectly fair” that the U.K. has decided to diverge from the EU post Brexit but “as a third country, you’re dealt with as a third country — no worse, no better.”

“The EU has no intention of discriminating against the U.K. in a post-Brexit world. The U.S. works fine in the current [third-country] framework, so I don’t see why the U.K. post Brexit wouldn’t,” he added.

The U.K. government has called for financial services to be included in a free-trade agreement with the EU. But Brussels politicians insist that this won’t be possible, with the U.K. having to access clients on the Continent through the various equivalence regimes that exist in EU regulations.

Asked whether there is a chance Brexit may not ultimately go ahead, Claudio Costamagna, chairman of Italy’s Cassa Depositi e Prestiti, said the question is “irrelevant as all the major players in the City [of London] are already taking decisions.” [...]

Full article on POLITICO


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