UK and EU are to sign a financial services agreement….

On 27th June 2023 the UK Treasury announced that whilst the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Jeremy Hunt, was in Brussels at the end of June (2023) he is expected to sign an agreement with the EU on financial services.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) is be drawn up and signed, setting out plans for the UK and EU to cooperate on matters such as information sharing, working together towards meeting joint challenges and coordinating where appropriate on issues ahead of G7, G20 and other international meetings.

With the UK being a leading global centre for financial services, with (as of 2020) a reported £11 trillion of assets under management in the UK and around 44% of these assets being managed on behalf of international investors including the EU, it is hoped that the MoU will establish a mutually beneficial relationship between the UK and the EU on financial services matters.

The MoU will bring the UK and EU in line with other regulatory cooperation arrangements that the UK has in place with other significant financial sector countries such as the US, Japan and Singapore.

The Chancellor, Jeremy Hunt said “The UK and EU’s financial markets are deeply interconnected and building a constructive, voluntary relationship is of mutual benefit to us both”.

Clearly, this is an important step in the UK/EU relationship post-Brexit, but at the bottom line, one can’t help but wonder if this MoU just puts us back to the same position, we were pre-Brexit.

Maybe time will tell!