On 26 September 2017, the International Regulatory Strategy Group (IRSG), in collaboration with Hogan Lovells, published a report on a new basis for access to EU/UK financial services post-Brexit. An executive summary of the report has also been published.
The report makes detailed proposals on the terms of a free trade agreement under which financial services suppliers in the EU and UK would have access to each others' markets after Brexit. Its starting point is that it is in the mutual interest of the EU27, the UK, businesses and the financial services sector for the existing, heavily integrated, cross border flows in finance to continue in order to sustain jobs and growth across the whole of Europe. The proposals are intended to achieve a level of mutual access for EU and UK firms that is as close as possible to the current levels of access that exist for such firms within the EU framework.
The report considers in particular:
- the key issue of the EU and UK having mutual access to each other’s markets after Brexit and, in particular the basis on which such access might be granted (see sections 3, 4 and 5);
- how to manage changes in the law of one party that might mean that a party ceases to satisfy the relevant criteria for a certain type of access (see section 6);
- how supervision of firms could operate in the context of the EU/UK agreement (see section 7);
- how disputes relating to the EU/UK agreement could be resolved (see section 8).
The annexes to the report consider in more detail:
- the context and constraints within which an agreement regarding mutual access must be reached, in particular, under the World Trade Organisation rules (see annex 1) and under EU law (see annex 2); and
- existing free trade agreements (FTAs) to which the EU is a party, and some of the key concepts that commonly feature in those FTAs (see annex 3). The report considers in particular how those concepts might apply in the context of the EU/UK agreement.