Policy Chairman calls for ‘urgent action’ to tackle Brexit uncertainty

The City of London Corporation’s Policy Chairman Catherine McGuinness has today called on the Government to take “urgent action” to reduce uncertainty for the UK financial and professional services sector following the publication of the Brexit White Paper earlier this month.

In an evidence session with the Exiting the European Union Select Committee in the House of Commons this morning (24 July), the Policy Chairman highlighted the pressing need to finalise the Withdrawal Agreement, ratify the planned transition period and tackle outstanding cliff edge issues such as contract continuity.

Commenting after the evidence session, City Corporation Policy Chairman Catherine McGuinness said:

With fewer than 250 days to go until we leave the EU, the clock is ticking ever more quickly for firms and their staff preparing for life after Brexit. The UK financial services and professional services sector looks forward to increased pace from the Government – and their EU counterparts – so that they can plan for the future with confidence.

“Businesses require certainty if they are to make long-term investment decisions and create new jobs so finalising the Withdrawal Agreement and ensuring that the agreed transition period is delivered are critical. It is equally urgent that we find a common way forward to address cliff edge issues, including contract continuity and two-way data flows.

“The Government should also consider putting in place, where possible, unilateral measures to ensure business can continue irrespective of the agreement with the EU.

“The Brexit White Paper set out some high-level proposals for tackling the failings of the existing third country equivalence regime. We now need greater detail and engagement from both sides to improve equivalence by broadening its scope and providing a firmer foundation for businesses than one where it can be withdrawn unilaterally at 30 days’ notice. It is in our shared interests to prevent unnecessary trade barriers being put up between the UK and EU.

“Getting this right matters to millions of consumers and businesses on both sides of the Channel. We stand ready to work with the Government and the City to deliver a pragmatic way forward.”


Notes to editors

The City of London Corporation is the governing body of the Square Mile dedicated to a vibrant and thriving City, supporting a diverse and sustainable London within a globally-successful UK. www.cityoflondon.gov.uk