Yesterday, 29 March 2017, Prime Minister Theresa May sent the formal notification about the UK’s intention to leave the EU to president of the European Council, Donald Tusk. In this letter she proposed “a bold and ambitious Free Trade Agreement” including “that it covers sectors crucial to our linked economies such as financial services and network industries. (…) We should therefore prioritise how we manage the evolution of our regulatory frameworks to maintain a fair and open trading environment, and how we resolve disputes.”
On this proposal to give the UK a say on EU financial services legislation and a dispute settlement resolution different from the ECJ, Greens/EFA MEPs Sven Giegold and Molly Scott Cato commented:
“Prime minister May has opted for a hard Brexit recognising that access on the same terms as EU members to the single market is inextricably bound with respect of the freedom of movement of people – a freedom which she has concluded is one of the key reasons for the narrow majority to vote “leave”.
We are concerned to see that she nevertheless calls for an FTA of “greater scope and ambition than any such agreement before it” specifically covering Financial Services and which involves a mechanism for coordinating the legal frameworks on both sides of the channel. Furthermore, she suggests that any EU-UK disputes be resolved by a court, which, given the fact that freedom from the ECJ is also one of her key objectives, raises the spectre of EU financial services law being decided by a non-EU body.
The Greens cannot accept that, post Brexit, the UK maintains such a degree of influence over financial markets legislation in the Union. On the contrary the negotiations present a good opportunity to ensure that the UK does finally end all tax haven policies. This is in the best interest of Europe as a whole as well as more equality in Britain”.