The U.K. and the EU cannot have a trade deal specifically tailored for financial institutions in Britain once it exits the bloc, Michel Barnier, the European chief negotiator for Brexit, told The Guardian.
"There is no place [for financial services]. There is not a single trade agreement that is open to financial services. It doesn't exist," Barnier said, noting that the British will lose passporting rights for financial services firms by leaving the European single market. His comments followed an agreement between EU leaders to begin negotiations with the U.K. over their post-Brexit trading relationship after agreeing to terms of a divorce deal.
David Davis, the U.K. Brexit secretary, recently called for a "Canada plus plus plus" trade deal between Britain and the EU, referencing a 2016 free trade agreement between Canada and the EU, but with the addition of financial services, The Guardian said in its Dec. 18 report.
Barnier insisted that Britain must adhere to EU rules and regulations during the Brexit transition period, and added that while the U.K. could hold trade agreement talks with other countries during the transition, none of those agreements could come into force during the period. He also said a potential reversal of Brexit would require approval from the other 27 EU member states.