Rishi Sunak says UK will 'do things differently and better' outside EU

Rishi Sunak says Britain will ‘do things differently and better’ outside the EU as he suggests the UK has given up on striking a post-Brexit financial services deal with Brussels and will now ‘move forward’ on its own

  • Rishi Sunak wanted financial services deal with EU but ‘that has not happened’ 
  • The Chancellor said ‘now, we are moving forward’ and UK will set its own rules
  • Mr Sunak said ‘we now have the freedom to do things differently and better’
  • But he said ‘EU will never have cause to deny the UK access’ due to lax standards

Rishi Sunak today suggested he has given up on striking a post-Brexit deal on financial services with the EU as he said the UK is ‘moving forward’ and will set its on rules. 

The UK has been pushing for the bloc to grant equivalence to Britain’s financial services sector to make it easy for firms in the City of London to access markets on the continent.

But Mr Sunak said the ‘ambition’ to strike a deal ‘has not happened’ and the UK now has the ‘freedom to do things differently and better’. 

The Chancellor said the UK will use that freedom ‘fully’ in a sign that firms in the City could now shift more of their focus to non-EU markets.  

However, Mr Sunak said that ‘the EU will never have cause to deny the UK access because of poor regulatory standards’ as he insisted rules will remain strict. 

Rishi Sunak today suggested he has given up on striking a post-Brexit deal on financial services with the EU as he said the UK is ‘moving forward’ and will set its on rules

The UK has been pushing for the bloc to grant equivalence to Britain’s financial services sector to make it easy for firms in the City of London to access markets on the continent

Financial services were largely excluded from the Brexit trade deal between the UK and the EU. 

The two sides have been in talks about granting equivalence, which would enable wide-ranging and simple access to the bloc’s markets, but those discussions appear to have stalled. 

Speaking at an event at Mansion House in central London this morning, Mr Sunak said: ‘The UK has an abiding interest in a prosperous and productive Europe.

‘We have deep shared values and a long history of cooperation. And we will strengthen those ties.

‘At the same time, as I said in Parliament in November, our ambition had been to reach a comprehensive set of mutual decisions on financial services equivalence. That has not happened.

‘Now, we are moving forward, continuing to cooperate on questions of global finance, but each as a sovereign jurisdiction with our own priorities.

‘We now have the freedom to do things differently and better, and we intend to use it fully.

‘But I can equally reassure you: the EU will never have cause to deny the UK access because of poor regulatory standards.’

Mr Sunak used the speech to set out his plans for a ‘sweeping set of reforms’ to the financial services sector. 

The Chancellor vowed to ‘sharpen our competitive advantage’ as he pledged to make the current sector ‘more open, more competitive, more technologically advanced, and more sustainable’. 

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