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23 January 2018

Commercial Risk Europe: Financial services ‘in the dark’ over UK Brexit trade plans after position paper shelved

The UK government has backtracked on a promise to publish a Brexit position paper for financial services trade, amid reports that the paper has been shelved. The move has been heavily criticised by both politicians and representatives of the sector.

The UK’s Department for Exiting the EU (Dexeu) has failed to a publish the position paper as expected, and refused to confirm that it will now be published at all. Dexeu said it will “keep under review what is the best way of advocating our position – be that in private discussions with the EU, speeches or a formal position paper”.

Nicky Morgan, MP and chair of the UK Treasury Committee, said financial service companies need more certainty from their government and was heavily critical of Dexeu’s latest decision.

Ms Morgan said: “The failure to publish a position paper on financial services sends all the wrong signals. Financial services will be one of the most challenging elements of the Brexit negotiations. A paper articulating a clear sense of direction, and a desired end-state, could have boosted confidence that the government is up to the task.”

She added: “Some level of clarity has been provided for numerous sectors. Financial services firms will be seriously concerned at the chronic state of uncertainty.”

Catherine McGuinness, policy chair at the City of London Corporation, said: “It has always been our expectation there would be a position paper. When so many other sectors and issues have been given this clarity, the City is left in the dark.”

Full article on Commercial Risk (subscription required)

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