While Britain’s post-Brexit trade deal with the EU has at last been reached, the future of the country’s key financial services industry is uncertain ahead of bilateral talks.
London and Brussels finally clinched a deal over Christmas ahead of Britain’s formal divorce from the European Union on December 31.
Britain then departed from the EU single market and customs union with effect from January 1. Yet crucially, the agreement — four and a half years after Britain narrowly voted to leave — did not encompass the finance sector.
“This (trade) deal is a starting point. We’ve got months of this to come,” Simon Gleeson of law firm Clifford Chance told AFP in reference to financial services.
The 1,200-page post-Brexit agreement gives scant detail about the industry, which is worth about £150 billion ($204 billion, 166 billion euros) per year or seven percent of the UK’s annual economic output.
Finance dwarfs Britain’s politically-significant fishing industry, which accounts for less than 0.1 percent of GDP and yet was a key factor in delaying the trade deal.
– Equivalence –
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