City policy chief calls out EU on hardline stance – but warns EU27 unity might wane

The City of London’s policy chief has raised concerns that the EU “isn’t signalling receptive messages” on financial services, but has suggested the EU’s unity may deteriorate as negotiations progress.

Michel Barnier has drawn criticism from the UK for saying that financial services could not be included in a free trade agreement between the EU and the UK, and that a transitional agreement was not a “given”.

Catherine McGuinness, policy chairman at the City of London Corporation, said there was still a “bit of persuasion to be done” to secure market access for the Square Mile.

McGuinness in an interview has said: “It is worrying that we’ve got an EU27 that isn’t, for whatever reason, receptive, isn’t signalling receptive messages at the moment on some of these key issues that we want to address as well. So I think we’ve got a lot of work to be done.”

She said the EU27 countries were “very united on the whole”, but added: “I think that might change over the course of this year when people start looking at the details of what settlement is proposed.”

Chancellor Philip Hammond will seek to woo European partners over the next two weeks on a tour of EU capitals, including Oslo, Stockholm and Madrid.

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