“Brexit means Brexit. Everywhere.”
EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said in a major speech today that British banks will lose “passporting rights” to do business in the European Union after Brexit.
This is reportedly bad news for the City, where over 5,400 British firms rely on passporting rights to bring in £9bn in revenue every year to Britain.
The announcement comes after Barnier said that if an agreement is to be signed after the UK leaves the single market, there has to be a “level playing field” with the EU, and the Government must not ditch European standards or so-called red tape.
And he warned there would be no “cherry picking” of the elements of the single market Britain wanted to keep.
Speaking in Brussels at a Centre for European Reform conference today, Barnier said: “On financial services, UK voices suggest that Brexit does not mean Brexit. Brexit means Brexit. Everywhere.”
“They say there will be no changes in market access for UK established firms, the say joint UK-EU rules would be decided in a new, symmetrical process… between the EU and the UK and outside of the jurisdictions of the European Court of Justice.”
“This would contradict the April European Council guidelines, which are my mandate, which stress the autonomy of the European decision-making, the integrity of our legal order, and of the Single Market. The legal consequence of Brexit, the legal consequence, is that the UK financial service providers lose their EU passport,” he added.
It also comes the same day as the EU announces where it will relocating the European Banking Authority, an EU agency currently based in London, after Brexit.