EU’s Barnier rejects UK’s post-Brexit banking plan

Michael Barnier

The European Union’s chief Brexit negotiator Michael Barnier has rejected the UK’s proposal to give London’s financial district access to the European Union as “unacceptable” — because they seek to keep the benefits of the single market without the obligations.

“I will be blunt: its proposals are unacceptable,” Barnier told a Eurofi conference. 

“There is no way member states or the European Parliament would accept this.”

The UK and the EU have a deadline at the end of June for completing “equivalence” assessments for determining access to each other’s financial markets.

“I know that many hope our equivalence decisions will provide continuity,” Barnier said.

“Many believe that ‘responsible politicians’ on both side of the Channel should make this happen — but things have to change.

“The UK and the EU will be two separate markets, two jurisdictions.

“And the EU must ensure that important risks to our financial stability are managed within the framework of our single market.”

A UK Treasury spokesperson said: “The UK has been able to complete our own assessments on time and we are now ready to reach comprehensive findings of equivalence as soon as the EU is able to clarify its own position.”