After prime minister Theresa May received the backing of cabinet for her Brexit deal with the European Union (EU), chancellor Philip Hammond and business secretary Greg Clark have urged business leaders to support it.
According to Sky News, in a conference call on Wednesday evening, Hammond and Clark told business leaders, which included representatives from Aviva, Airbus, Barclays and Standard Life Aberdeen, that the ‘compromise deal’ was essential to avoid chaos.
For the financial services industry, the proposals include an end to easy access for British firms to EU financial markets. Instead the relationship will be based on 'equivalence', which is already provided for a number of countries.
During the call, Sky News reported that Aviva chairman Sir Adrian Montague and Standard Life Aberdeen chair Sir Gerry Grimstone offered to endorse the deal publicly.
While calling it a significant breakthrough, Investment Association chief executive Chris Cummings pointed out there are ‘still important political hurdles to clear in the coming weeks’.
He added: ‘Firms will continue to keep their contingency plans under review, the details published today will give firms more clarity on the shape of the future relationship between the EU and the UK. There is still much to be negotiated but today’s announcement takes us closer to a new relationship with the EU.
‘All efforts must now be focused on securing a final agreement that protects the interests of European savers and investors and which allows the asset management industry to flourish.’
Following the news of the deal, the FTSE opened only slighlty higher this morning, up 0.48% to 7.067.