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Government axes financial services Brexit position paper

Government axes financial services Brexit position paper

The government has shelved plans to publish a Brexit position paper setting out the UK’s trade goals for financial services after Brexit, according to the Financial Times.

The City was promised a position paper by the Department for Exiting the EU (Dexeu) last year, but the publication date has since been repeatedly pushed back since it was first meant to be published in August.

Several other sectors have had position papers published, with the government publishing position papers on internal and external security, as well as fair and open trade, at the time the financial services paper was promised.

The FT reports that the government is now considering not publishing the position paper on financial services at all as it remains unable to agree on a detailed position on the sector and some officials are still reluctant to show the EU their negotiating hand.

Commenting on the news, Conservative MP Nicky Morgan, chair of the Treasury Select Committee, said the failure to publish a position paper on financial services ‘sends all the wrong signals.’

She said: ‘Financial services will be one of the most challenging elements of the Brexit negotiations.

‘A paper articulating a clear sense of direction, and a desired end-state, could have boosted confidence that the government is up to the task,' he said.

‘Some level of clarity has been provided for numerous sectors. Financial services firms will be seriously concerned at the chronic state of uncertainty.’

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