PARIS — The U.K. is pushing to work with the EU on financial services regulation now that an agreement on post-Brexit trade with Northern Ireland has been struck, Andrew Griffith, Economic Secretary to the Treasury, told the POLITICO Finance Summit in Paris today.
The outreach opens the door to the signing “very quickly” of the Memorandum of Understanding agreed with the EU in principle in 2021 but never concluded, the minister said.
“That will give us the framework to have the very closest dialogue with the partners who represent a very significant part of our U.K. financial markets,” Griffith said.
Across Europe, some governments feared Britain would use Brexit as an excuse to dilute its regulatory framework in an effort to win more business, and open the door to a second “big bang” to charge its economy — a reference to the original deregulation regime put forward by Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s.
But Griffith said he was comfortable to send the message to the EU this was “not the case”.
“That’s one of the things I want to impress upon participants today,” he said. “Our ambition, our commitment to the highest quality standards of regulation is wholly undiminshed.”
He added: “There may be particular cases led by the facts where we do things slightly different but with the same outcome and with the same commitment to high quality standards in mind.”