Brexit: David Frost on chances of financial services agreement
Jayne Adye, director of the pro-Brexit campaign group Get Britain Out, believes the UK is in a fantastic position to realise Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s lofty ambitions – provided it can free itself from the “vindictive and sclerotic” bloc’s stifling rules and regulations. Ms Adye said since the end of the transition period at the end of 2020, there had been an “almost universal focus” on the Northern Ireland Protocol, as well as the problems faced by the UK fishing industry.
By contrast, the Financial Services industry has been “entirely ignored”, she said, despite being the UK’s single biggest export to both the EU and the rest of the world.
Nevertheless, in the last month the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, Lord David Frost, and Andrew Bailey, the Governor of the Bank of England, had all indicated a deal with the EU appeared to be unlikely, she pointed out.
The EU had sought to justify its intransigence by citing the UK’s refusal to commit to “dynamic alignment with EU regulatory changes” for years to come – in other words constantly updating the rules to mirror those of the EU.
Boris Johnson has been urged to stop “playing nice” when it comes to the City of London and the EU
Rishi Sunak, Chancellor of the Exchequer
Despite this, London has so far been reluctant to take any real action, Ms Adye said, with the result that businesses and investors had been unable adequately to plan for the future.
Ms Adye added: “Even though some additional barriers have been created by the vindictive EU, companies and individuals still want to choose the expertise and experience which exists in London, rather than move to the EU – contrary to what many had claimed as part of a well-documented ‘Project Fear’ agenda.
“Yes, London has maintained its position in the world, but if the Government wants to reach the full potential of Brexit, then this must mean bringing about serious change and not simply accepting the status quo.
Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission
“Nobody stays at the top by doing nothing. As an independent country, we cannot deprive ourselves of opportunities to thrive because it might annoy the European Union.”
Ms Adye wholeheartedly rejected any suggestion that the UK needed to “keep the EU on side”.
She explained: “We are currently sitting idly by, wasting time by continuing to abide by EU legislation, and in return the EU is not showing us any leniency or ‘goodwill’
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Lord David Frost is pessimistic about the prospects of a deal
Andrew Bailey, Governor of the Bank of England
“Instead, it is trying to carve off Northern Ireland from this country – recently rejecting our proposals for renegotiation in just three hours; hitting us with multiple legal threats; and now demanding an extra £2 billion as part of a ‘Divorce Bill’.”
Ms Adye warned: “The EU clearly has no interest in ‘playing nicely’, so it is about time we stopped the charades and got on with putting out own interests first – whether this is triggering Article 16 of the NI Protocol or slashing EU financial services regulations.
“Companies have flocked to the UK for decades because of their trust in our economic system and the ‘light-touch’ regulation which drives it.
The post-Brexit European trade landscape
“This has been diluted through our EU Membership, but it is something we can recover from.”
Such an approach should not mean Financial Services should be devoid of scrutiny or regulation, she emphasised, but rather the point was to shape a system which encouraged new businesses and was prepared for the future, rather than being stuck in the past, tied to what she called a “sclerotic EU legislative process which lags behind the rest of the world”.
Referring to the Chancellor, Ms Adye emphasised: “The UK has the chance to cement itself “as the most advanced and exciting country for financial services in the world”, as Sunak described at Mansion House. However, the Government must have the courage to reach out, grab this chance and bring about real regulatory change quickly.
City of London is one of the world’s foremost financial centres
“Whether this is by encouraging FinTech, green investment or digital trade, our exit from the European Union has come at an opportune time when fresh thinking and a new regulatory approach can allow the United Kingdom to reach its full economic potential.”
She concluded: “It is clear a ‘good deal’ with the EU is not on the cards anytime soon, so the Chancellor must not lose this opportunity to push forward and really Get Britain Out of the mindset where we worry about how our every move might affect the relationship we already have with the EU.
“We are now an independent sovereign nation, and it is time this Government started acting like we want to forge ahead to really explore the advantages of a truly Global Britain.”