UK chancellor Rishi Sunak has said that the Brexit agreement between Britain and the European Union will see changes in the financial world, and allow the country to “do things differently.”
It comes as prime minister Boris Johnson conceded that his trade deal with the EU may fall short of his desires for the sector.
Sunak has vowed on Sunday to make the City of London “the most attractive place” to list new firms.
There is not much detail yet on financial services and the trade treaty brokered with Brussels on Thursday provides little information on EU market access — which must still be negotiated for British-based companies in specific deals.
“But this deal also provides reassurance because there’s a stable, regulatory co-operative framework mentioned in the deal which I think will give people that reassurance that we will remain in close dialogue with our European partners,” Sunak said.
Speaking for the first time since he announced the Brexit deal on Thursday, Johnson said that the trade agreement secures “access for solicitors, barristers” and a “good deal” for digital.
Johnson hinted at a potential overhaul of the tax and regulatory system for businesses. He said that Sunak was now conducting a “big exercise on all of this,” suggesting changes could come as early as the Budget in March.
However, Johnson did admit that the deal doesn’t “perhaps go as far as we would like” on financial services.
Banks, insurers and other financial firms based in the UK will not be granted automatic access to EU markets from the end of the transition period on 31 December. Instead they will have to be deemed by the EU to be governed by rules as robust as within the bloc.
But the chancellor said anyone who is worried about the economic implications of the breach with the EU should be "enormously reassured about the comprehensive nature" of the deal.
He added: “I think there was always going to be people who want to reopen the debates of four years ago but I don’t think that would be the right thing to do,” he said in the interview.
“I actually think this deal can represent an enormously unifying moment for our country and bring people together after the divisions of the past few years.
“For those who voted to leave, this deal means that we will have the freedom that people sought, control of our laws, our borders, our trade.
“But for those who were anxious about the economic implications of leaving they should be enormously reassured by the comprehensive nature of this free trade agreement, ensuring tariff-free, quota-free access for British businesses to the European market, ensuring that close economic partnership and crucially protecting British jobs.”
Watch: Brexit trade deal can be 'unifying moment for our country', Rishi Sunak says