With Brexit carried out on 31st January, 2020, the clock for the negotiations on the future of the economic relationship between the UK and the EU started ticking aloud. Before bilateral, structured meetings formally kicked off on 2nd March 2020, both sides had already started indirect communication by formulating a Blueprint (PM Johnson) and a negotiation mandate (of the European council for Commissioner Barnier) aiming at setting the scene for later direct talks. Both sides have stated that Financial Services will be on the table, which is not a surprise. If we think of the negotiations as a dinner table, Financial Services would be the Lobster: After use of some tools and techniques (both themselves taking some time to get learned), you get a non-everyday culinary experience (at least for most of us). You will possibly remember a meal for the Lobster served. But If you are hungry and in a hurry, you will probably not choose the lobster, deprioritizing it to the most important target at hand: Not leaving the table hungry.
As of now, Financial Services could well become the Lobster in the Brexit negotiation: The masterpiece of negotiations, but unavailable for time constraints. Instead, it is more likely than not that EU-UK-cross-border financial services from 2021 on will be governed by a concept which is already established in both EU and UK law and will thus not require negotiations: Equivalence.
In this article, we will explain the concept of equivalence, why we consider it the most probable outcome and what this means for the provision of cross-EU-UK-border (cross-border) financial services after the end of the transition period, in the short and medium term.