11th March 2018

ABI and CBI comment on Chancellor's Speech on Brexit and financial services

Responding to the speech by Chancellor Philip Hammond on the way forward for a financial services agreement post Brexit, director general of the Association of British Insurers (ABI) Huw Evans said “It would defy common sense not to have a Brexit deal on financial services so we welcome the Chancellor’s commitment today. It’s now time for everyone to drop the dogma and get round the table. The insurance and long-term savings sector is already well integrated and our regulations are aligned so if the will is there, a deal that works for everyone can be done. Insurers across the EU and in the UK must have legal certainty they can pay their customers and it is vital we maintain the flow of skilled labour between the UK and EU that will keep the UK a world leader.”
Josh Hardie, CBI deputy director-general, said “The Chancellor is absolutely right to be leading the fight for the UK’s financial services sector. Trying to forge a new trading relationship with our largest trading partner that does not include financial services is like building a ship with no sails.
Challenging the assumption that financial services can’t be in a future trade agreement is right, as ambitious plans for an agreement are very much in the interests of both sides of the Channel. Hundreds of millions of people across Europe, from tourists to entrepreneurs to pensioners, rely on mutual market access in financial services every single day without even realising it.
This must start with removing the cliff-edge for trade in services by quickly agreeing comprehensive transitional agreements, as well as ensuring that skilled workers can easily move and work across the Channel. With these steps in place, and a clear vision of the deal the UK wants, firms will have more reasons to pause contingency plans and to invest in UK.
It’s fundamental we protect, maintain and develop our world-beating financial services sector–the lifeblood of both the UK’s and the EU’s economies that enables all other sectors to deliver jobs, innovate and grow. With two thirds of UK financial services jobs being found outside London, all parts of the country succeed when the sector has wind in its sails.”
On Donald Tusk’s comments, HArdie added “Both the UK and the EU have now laid down their opening markers, so the CBI, alongside businesses across Europe, urges both sides to approach negotiations with a truly open mind and fresh, pragmatic thinking to secure the best deal for people and firms across Europe.
“There is a very clear shared interest between the UK and EU members, so it’s critical to avoid ending up with a deal that ultimately satisfies no-one. It simply is too important to let fail.”

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