Brexit transition period must end by 2021, says Barnier

Brexit transition period must end by 2021, says Barnier

Brexit transition period must end by 2021, says Barnier

Earlier on Wednesday Christine Lagarde, the head of the International Monetary Fund, said that it was imperative that the United Kingdom secure a good deal for the City in order to minimise the economic impact of Brexit.

Her comments came after Mr Barnier indicated he was working towards reaching simply a political agreement on the future UK/EU relationship by October 2018, which would fall some way short of a full free trade agreement. But they present the risk that, in the event of a financial crisis, funds are quickly repatriated to the foreign bank's headquarters - leaving customers of the United Kingdom branch out of pocket.

The EU has proposed that, as a last resort, clearing of euro- denominated derivatives done mainly in London should move to the Eurozone after Brexit.

But for some European Union nationals - who have endured uncertainty over their rights since the Brexit vote in June 2016, not to mention an unpleasant feeling that many Britons do not want them around - May's December 8 deal is too little, too late. Many of those banks, like Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, have their main European operations in London at present, although Goldman's CEO Lloyd Blankfein has warned in a series of tweets that the bank could relocate large parts of its business to the continent if London loses its access to the EU market.

Responding to parliamentary concerns that Britain is willing to abandon Gibraltar in a bid to secure an EU-UK trade agreement, Prime Minister Theresa May pledged to fight for a deal that would be best for Gibraltar and the United Kingdom.

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The comments make clear that he sees the document falling short of a full trade deal, which is something Mrs May is pushing the European Union to agree quickly. The BBC originally reported that it would, but removed that detail in a later version of its story. There are now 160 worldwide bank branches operating in the United Kingdom, 77 of which are from the European Economic Area (EEA), with assets of more than £4 trillion.

However, the process of setting up subsidiaries is extremely costly.

The PM's starting point for discussing the UK's preferred end state was her own speeches at Lancaster House and in Florence earlier this year, in which she ruled out membership of the single market and customs union.

Britain's Brexit transition period should last until the end of 2020, the EU's chief negotiator has said.

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