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ABI chief: Brexit deal is taking too long

The director general of the Association of British Insurers has told MPs that a post-Brexit deal is taking too long to form.

Giving evidence to parliament’s committee on exiting the EU yesterday, Huw Evans said that “the thinking about what a future relationship would look like with our European partners is not where it needs to be” and that the government should be exploring options outside of the ideal “mutual market access” scenario for financial services.

Evans is quoted by the Financial Times are saying: “We should not kid ourselves that we are as far forward as we would like to be…That is a discussion we should be having now because…there are some pretty hard-boiled attitudes within the commission in particular.”

Also appearing before the committee, senior regulators called for an “equivalence” model where cross-border trade across the EU could continue in certain sectors.

FCA chief executive Andrew Bailey described a bespoke deal for financial services as “do-able”, with a framework settled upon ideally before the end of 2018.

UK Finance chief executive Stephen Jones added: “[We need to see] a clear intention to negotiate on financial services…with clear aims for negotiation. If we can see that then we can start as an industry to have confidence that this is something where the outcome is clear and what we are talking about is the detail.”

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