British Prime Minister Theresa May is trying to ease bankers’ concerns after she torpedoed one of their biggest demands for Brexit during a speech on the country’s future relationship with the European Union.
The prime minister, in a BBC interview broadcast Sunday, said both sides must recognize the “very important role” that Britain’s financial services industry plays for the EU and the U.K.
That came two days after May rejected calls for a “passporting” agreement, which would let bankers and other professionals work in the EU with their UK qualifications — and vice versa. Such an arrangement would force Britain to accept rules made elsewhere, and that is unacceptable, she said.
“What we are looking at … is a new relationship on financial services based on this concept of mutual recognition,” May said. “Given the sums of money involved, given the importance of financial stability, given the risk that, actually, the UK bears … it’s important that we do that on the basis of recognized regulatory standards. But we can’t just accept rules made elsewhere without us having a say in them.”