Leaked document hints at 5-year Brexit transition

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Iain Hopkins

A leaked document, created by Magic Circle law firms Clifford Chance, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Linklaters, has revealed that the UK finance industry wants the British government to allow it to remain subject to European Union laws for up to five years after Brexit.

Produced for a group UK-based banks, the report indicates that such transitional arrangements are “likely essential” in order to avoid damaging a British economy that is “reliant upon uninterrupted access to financial services”.

According to Reuters, the report – described by one banker as a “heavyweight” piece of legal work – has been shared with the UK government.

The document suggests the UK government should accept EU law in financial services for a minimum of three to five years post-Brexit or risk banks shifting business away from the country, according to Reuters. If no deal is struck, there is a risk of regulators struggling to cope with simultaneous requests from banks to restructure their operations – all of which may impact on the finance industry’s ability to adapt quickly.

The leaked report follows calls from a number of politicians, business groups and business leaders – including Bank of England governor Mark Carney – for the government to secure transitional arrangements with the EU in order to minimise disruption to business and the economy.