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Express: Banks pressure Treasury to adopt longer and slower Brexit

Date: 10 12 2016

Banks pressure Treasury to adopt longer and slower Brexit

BRITAIN’s biggest banks are pressuring the Government for a gradual exit from the European Union (EU), which would allow them to remain under Brussels control long after Brexit.

Rather than a clean cut from the union and its overbearing legal system, the financial giants want the European Court of Justice to have the final on say on their businesses for up to five years

City bosses have warned the Government, the British economy could suffer a huge hit if banks don’t get what they want.

Threats that banks could also move jobs out of the UK have also been made.

The move by the financial sector has already provoke an angry backlash.

Richard Tice, co-chairman of the Leave Means Leave campaign, said: “This is a nonsense. It is just the banks, frankly, not dealing with the issue.

“The country voted for change and the sooner they wake up and accept it the better.”

Lawyers have been drafted in to try to persuade the Government to adopt the banks’ plans.

And together firms have drawn up a file of how a longer period to quit the bloc in stages could work.

The document has now been handed to the Treasury.

One banker at a large international firm said: “The report has been received as a fairly serious piece of work.

“It focuses on the legal underpinning of a transitional arrangement.

“It’s a heavyweight legal piece of work.”

The Government is currently has not yet decided whether to make a clean break or support a gradual withdrawal.

But the latter is likely to spark a huge backlash among Britons who voted for Brexit.

The Treasury said in a statement finance minister Philip Hammond is closely listening to the financial sector’s views.

The document said: “Transitional arrangements are likely essential.

“This is important in order to avoid potential damage to the ‘real economy’ that is reliant upon uninterrupted access to financial services.”

The file also says the transitional deal should last a minimum of between three to five years.

The document also wants the ECJ, which override UK courts, would most likely have to govern any disagreements that arise during the transition.

The file said: “We well understand the political sensitivity to that proposition.”

December 9th, 2016: Express