Tuesday 14 March 2017 5:52 pm

Banking pressure group, the British Bankers' Association, plans to lobby the EU27, arguing a strong UK financial sector post-Brexit benefits everybody

The UK's pressure group for the banking industry is pulling together plans to lobby the EU27 for a Brexit deal that will benefit all involved, just days before Prime Minister Theresa May is expected to pull the trigger on Article 50.

The British Bankers' Association (BBA) has signed up an army of experts to draft plans to persuade EU business and political figures that a Brexit deal which maintains the financial sector's ties with the European system would be in everybody's best interests.

Among those the BBA is consulting for its European Banking Policy Network is Matthew Sinclair, head of economics at Westbourne Communications, who is known for his Brexiteer views and used to head up the TaxPayer's Alliance.

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"The BBA has appointed a number of agencies, including Westbourne, to support its European policy work," said a BBA spokesperson. "The project is at an early stage, and we can’t provide further details at this time."

However, Politico has reported the project could kick off as early as May, with top BBA officials jetting off to the likes of France and Germany to speak with politicians and other key stakeholders. 

The BBA is far from the only one to cotton onto the idea a bad deal for the UK's banks would be a bad deal for the EU's banking industry.

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Back in January, Bank of England governor Mark Carney told MPs: "The consequence [of a bad Brexit deal with no transition period] would be greater for Europe than the UK."

Shortly after Carney's comments, Lord Bridges of Headley, parliamentary under secretary of state in the Brexit department, told the House of Lords: "We want to have a smooth and orderly exit and, as the governor of the Bank of England pointed out yesterday, it is as much in our interest as it is the rest of the European Union."

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Meanwhile, Jon Cunliffe, Bank of England deputy governor with responsibility for financial stability, has warned the EU has little to gain by driving a hard Brexit bargain, as financial firms looking for a new home for their UK operations are more likely to head across the Atlantic to New York than to European hubs like Frankfurt, Paris and Amsterdam

"What we call London … I can't see that being replicated in the foreseeable future in one place in the European Union," Cunliffe told the House of Lords EU financial affairs committee last October.