The UK and European Union have tonight published the Brexit withdrawal agreement and an outline of the political declaration on the future relationship between the UK and the European Union.
Here is how the City reacted
Catherine McGuiness, policy chairman at the City of London Corporation
“The announcement that a draft Brexit agreement has been reached between the UK and EU is a significant step towards a deal being finalised.
“The proposed framework for the future relationship provides welcome clarity and offers a foundation for financial services. In particular, the commitment to close regulatory and supervisory cooperation is a positive move that recognises the need for any deal to reflect the City’s unique role in providing services to households and businesses across Europe.
“As we have said, it is vital that that a transition period is secured to allow the sector time to work through this complex process and the suggested withdrawal agreement would provide that. Greater clarity is also needed for the European nationals who account for around a fifth of the City of London’s workforce.
“A no-deal Brexit would be in nobody’s interests. Politicians on both sides now need to see through an agreement that benefits both the UK and the EU.
“In the meantime, it is critical that EU regulators work urgently to address cliff-edge issues such as the operation of clearing houses that could disrupt cross-border financial services and threaten financial stability in the event of a no-deal Brexit. It’s reassuring to hear increasing acknowledgment that these issues need dealing with but we need firm action, not just words.”
Chris Cummings, Chief Executive of the Investment Association
“This is a significant breakthrough in the Brexit negotiations.
"European savers and the industries that serve them can take some comfort from the announcements today, which mitigate some of the worst feared cliff edge effects of a no deal Brexit and provides a clearer road ahead.
"Although there are still important political hurdles to clear in the coming weeks, and firms will continue to keep their contingency plans under review, the details published today will give firms more clarity on the shape of the future relationship between the EU and the UK.
There is still much to be negotiated but today’s announcement take us closer to a new relationship with the EU.
“All efforts must now be focused on securing a final agreement that protects the interests of European savers and investors and which allows the asset management industry to flourish.“
Stephen Jones, chief executive of UK Finance
“Securing an agreed text on the withdrawal agreement is an important step forward in avoiding a damaging and disorderly exit from the European Union. However, the hard work needs to continue.
The country’s economic future depends on politicians showing pragmatism over ideology and having an honest debate about the true cost of leaving the EU without a deal in place.
“The finance industry will continue planning to minimise any disruption from a ‘no deal’ scenario, until the agreement has been ratified on both sides of the Channel. During this time it is vital that both the EU and UK continue to work together to address potentially critical cliff-edge issues such as cross-border data flows and contractual continuity, to provide customers and firms with sufficient legal and regulatory certainty.
“The future framework shows important progress has been made in defining the nature of the UK’s long-term relationship with the EU. These commitments must be solidified to ensure we can enable meaningful future cross-border market access in financial services.”