The EC warns that the City’s access to the EU depends on trust in London

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Brussels, Jun 22 (EFE) .- The European Commissioner for Financial Services, Mairead McGuinness, warned this Monday that confidence that the United Kingdom fulfills its obligations will be “essential” when deciding whether the European Union allows access from the firms of the City of London to their market.

“Our relationship must be based on trust. Without trust, we are going nowhere. And the full implementation of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement, including the Northern Ireland Protocol, are prerequisites for that trust,” McGuinness said at a forum. financial organized by City associations and British authorities.

Since the UK officially left the EU last January, the relationship between the two parties has been strained in particular due to London’s failure to comply with some provisions of the Northern Ireland Protocol, the purpose of which is to avoid a physical border between Northern Ireland. North and the rest of the island of Ireland.

“Financial services are not isolated from the broader political relationship between the EU and the UK,” McGuinness warned, adding that they are waiting for London to choose between “two paths”: fulfill its obligations and dialogue in good faith or continue with. their unilateral actions.

“We hope that the UK will choose the first, most appropriate and sustainable path. That will help us to cooperate in other sectors, including financial services,” said the commissioner.

With the departure of the United Kingdom, financial companies lost their right to operate in the EU from British territory, so the only way to access the EU market is to establish headquarters in one of the 27 Member States or for the European Commission to grant a equivalence decision, which opens the doors for companies in a specific area.

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For now, London and Brussels have negotiated a memorandum of understanding to cooperate on financial services, although each fully maintains its powers, but this has not yet been approved.

Once it is formally concluded, McGuinness said, “we will have to consider whether we can resume the assessment on equivalence in financial services,” something that would be done “gradually and on a case-by-case basis, taking into account UK regulatory intentions and interests. of the EU “.

“Trust will be paramount,” he added.

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