London’s financial lobby group warned that the city’s status as the world’s pre-eminent financial hub could be undermined if the U.K. loses the right to sell its services freely within the European Union as doubts mount over Britain’s ability to retain full access to the trading bloc.
Bloomberg News reports that being able to tap the EU’s single market “under broadly similar conditions” is “of utmost importance,” TheCityUK said in a report Wednesday. Europe’s biggest companies, who rely on banks in London to raise capital and provide financial advice, will also suffer if Britain is shut out after the U.K. leaves the 28-nation bloc, according to the report.
U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May, who has indicated she’d like to preserve so-called passporting, said last week that she’s not wedded to any particular model for the nature of the trading relationship with the EU. May has vowed to restrict the free movement of EU citizens to the U.K. as voters demanded, and no nation has both passporting rights and curbs on immigration.
"What’s top of the list for financial services is access to the EU single market," CityUK Chief Operating Officer Marcus Scott said in an interview. "We want to make sure that in the upcoming negotiations those services are treated as a priority."
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