Business & Economy

London calls for EU pragmatism on market access

London, Jan 29 (efe-epa).- The United Kingdom’s financial hub is calling for “pragmatism” from the European Union when it comes to market access and tying up the loose ends of Brexit, Catherine McGuinness, chair of the City of London Corporation’s policy committee, tells Efe in an interview.

McGuinness makes no secret of her disappointment in the UK-EU post-Brexit trade agreement, which she describes as “poor” with regards to financial services. She is urging the bloc to work with London “as competitors but also as partners,” which she believes will allow them to overcome shared difficulties.

“Let’s be pragmatic about decisions that ought to be pragmatic and move forward to deal with common challenges, such as recovery, such as the climate challenge and such as data flow, digitalization,” she says. She believes the EU is taking too long to grant the UK an equivalence regime, which it now needs as a third party.

Some EU sources say the delay in granting an equivalence framework is centered on fears that the UK could diverge from EU regulations and deregulate the financial sector to its advantage.

“The thing I would say, first of all, this is damaging for businesses and customers just when we need markets to be operating properly,” she tells Efe. “There is a strange concern in some quarters that we might want to deregulate and become Singapore on Thames, we’ve always been very clear, we don’t hear any call from the sector for a significant deregulation.” EFE / EPA

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