Brexit: Johnson says EU equivalence is ‘not sensible’ for UK
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Boris Johnson’s official spokesman said the EU’s refusal to give so-called equivalence to the UK was having a damaging impact. The procedure involves Brussels admitting Britain’s rules and regulations are similar to the bloc’s own, allowing firms to therefore trade with the continent.
The No10 official said it was in “no one’s interest” to not grant equivalence to the UK.
He blamed Brussels’s refusal to give the UK such privileges for Amsterdam overtaking London as Europe’s biggest share trading centre.
The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “The UK exchanges remain some of the biggest and deepest in the world, and we continue to believe in open, global markets and firms’ ability to choose where to trade.
“Despite the fact that we have supplied all of the necessary paperwork and are one of the world’s most preeminent financial centres with a strong regulatory system, the EU have still not granted us full equivalence.
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“This has meant that a number of EU shares that were previously traded on UK venues have moved to EU venues on advice of the European regulator.
“Fragmentation of share trading across financial centres is no one’s interest and we remain open to discussions with the EU about this.”
Stock exchanges in the Amsterdam traded 9.2 billion euros ($11.15 billion) a day in January, compared to London’s 8.6 billion, according to the Cboe exchange, which operates in both cities.
This compares with an average of 17.5 billion euros traded daily in London during 2020, when Frankfurt was second with 5.9 billion and Amsterdam sixth at 2.6 billion, Cboe said.
While the UK is still waiting for equivalence from Brussels, Britain has given access to EU firms in 17 areas.
Brussels says it needs information about Britain’s intentions to diverge from EU rules before it can grant privileges.
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Last night Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey accused Brussels of attempting to block the UK from doing business on the continent.
Delivering a speech to the City, he said: “Is the EU going to cut the UK off from itself? There are signs of the intention to do so at the moment, but I think that would be a mistake.
“I think that would lead to the fragmentation of markets.
“The problem with the fragmentation of markets is that it raises the cost of finance for everybody, including, by the way, the citizens of the EU.
“It will raise the cost of doing business in the EU.”
He added the EU appeared to want the UK to sign up to following Brussels rules, a demand not asked of the US or Switzerland.
The Governor said: “I cannot really tell you where the EU is going to come out on this, but I’m afraid a world in which the EU dictates and determines what rules and standards we have in the UK is not going to work.
“We have to state the argument for why it is important to have global standards, global markets and safe openness.
“If we all sign up to that, then there isn’t a need to go in that direction.”
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