Thursday 24 December 2020 3:50 pm

PM: Brexit deal will allow the City to thrive like 'never before'

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said that the Brexit deal signed today will allow the City to thrive “like never before.”

Asked about how much financial services figured in the deal, Johnson said there was “good language on equivalence.”

He hinted that the European Union had pushed back on closer integration in the sector.

“It is nonetheless going to allow our dynamic City of London to get on and prosper like never before,” he said.

Sterling rose on news of the Brexit deal but financial services experts are already turning their attention to the future of the City.

The deal itself focusses primarily on goods, with services agreements limited largely to a non-discrimination clause.

A number of European and UK regulators have agreed to rollover agreements to prevent major changes in January 2021, but they will expire in due course.

Daniel Pinto, Chief Executive of Stanhope Capital, said “the agreement should be less criticised for what it contains than what it does not contain – namely the future of financial services.”

Read more: Deal done – Brexit accord signed on Christmas Eve

Janus Henderson’s Oliver Blackbourn said: “It is important to remember that this is a narrow deal on trade, focused on goods sectors that make up a much smaller proportion of the UK’s economy than services.”

But the Association for Financial Markets in Europe said they believed a deal on goods will lay the groundwork for future equivalence and further negotiations on financial services.

“We hope that this lays the foundation for further cooperation on financial services,” the trade group said today.

“It is important that the EU and the UK now urgently put in place outstanding equivalence decisions to mitigate disruption at the end of the transition period and ensure a smooth adaptation to the new relationship.”

The CBI said businesses needed urgent confirmation of grace periods.