The UK hoped to reach an agreement on the role of the UK financial sector in Europe that would allow mutual recognition of financial services rules between London and the bloc. But although a preliminary “Memorandum of Understanding” was agreed in March of this year, which allows for engagement in affairs of the financial industry, no “Equivalence Agreement” has been signed for the sector.
Bim Afolami, MP for Hitchin and Harpenden, said the European Union was “not interested in equivalence”.
Mr Afolami, chairman of the all-party parliamentary group on financial markets and services, said this was “balanced and generous” despite the UK approach.
The MP said Brussels was not interested in reaching an agreement because of an “aggressive” approach by EU regulators overseeing financial services in the bloc.
He added: “I have seen EU regulators try very aggressively to take companies out of the UK and move them to the EU.
“I never really thought equivalence would happen.
“You can’t force someone to give you something they won’t give you.
“No matter how much money you put into it or how good your reasoning is, you have made a political decision to make equivalence as difficult as possible in most areas.”
Looking to the future, the MP, who recently held talks with Chancellor Rishi Sunak, indicated that Brussels could change its approach “in the future” if the EU continues to be “unreasonably difficult”.
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As a result, the European Commission decided to proceed cautiously on a financial services deal with the UK.
A spokesman also said it would resume its equivalency assessments as soon as its member states formally support a new framework for regulatory cooperation with the UK.