In a statement, the European Commission stated, Brexit negotiations with Britain will not include British financial firms gaining access to the EU market.
The clarification comes in the wake of Britain stating it wants a “legally binding” framework to access European Union’s financial market along with arrangements for maintaining trust as rules evolve.
London, Europe’s biggest financial center, faces the possibility of being locked out of its biggest export market for services including asset management, banking, and insurance, if it does not manage to gain access to the EU from January 2021.
“From the beginning the equivalence regime is not part of the negotiations with the UK because the decision is something for the EU to assess and decide upon,” said a spokeswoman for the European Commission at a regular news briefing.
“In the Withdrawal Agreement there is a commitment to complete that assessment by June,” she added.
Talks between the two on future relationship, including security, trade, citizens’ mobility, fisheries and a level playing field for companies would start next week; the exact agenda for the talks has not yet been decided.
She refused to comment on remarks made by senior British minister Michael Gove on border checks between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
“In relation to controls in the Irish Sea, we do not comment… our only compass as regards the Irish Sea is the protocol on Northern Ireland in the Withdrawal Agreement,” she said.