Brexit deal or no deal? Insurers blast no deal as "unacceptable"

Oliver Gill
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Many insurers have already announced plans to set up EU bases on the continent to allow them to continue to trade post-Brexit (Source: Getty)

Britain's insurance sector will not tolerate a situation where the government has failed to agree a deal with the EU by the time the UK leaves the union in 2019.

Huw Evans, the head of the Association of British Insurers (ABI), will today tell the trade body's conference on Brexit it is incumbent on the government to find a deal if insurers are to continue to meet the needs of millions of customers and remain legally compliant.

“It is unacceptable not to have a Brexit deal at the point at which we leave in 2019," he will say.

Read more: Lloyd's chair isn't worried about the impact of new EU hub on London

"As the chancellor said in the Mansion House speech, the Brexit process has to be delivered in a way that enables business to operate, and our customers not to suffer any unnecessary detriment.

Evans will continue:

To meet our clients' needs as an industry and ensure full compliance with the law, the government has to deliver an orderly withdrawal, a stable transition and a sensible and mutually beneficial future trading relationship.

Read more: Hiscox picks Luxembourg for EU base hailing "pro-business" credentials

Many of the UK's insurers have already prepared for Britain's exit from the EU by revealing plans to set up new offices on the continent. Lloyd's of London kicked off the process just one day after Prime Minister Theresa May triggered Article 50 in March. The historic corporation chose Brussels as its new base.

Other insurers have followed Lloyd's lead but Luxembourg and Dublin have proved more popular locations for European bases that will allow them to sell into the EU market.

Evans will admit getting the right deal "will take time", adding: "It is more important to get it right than to pretend things are simpler than they are and set artificial deadlines."

Read more: One of the largest Lloyd's insurers has picked Luxembourg for its EU base

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