The UK and EU finalised the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (“TCA”) that governs their future trading and security relationship on 24 December 2020. The TCA offers minimal commitments on financial services and even excludes financial services from some general protections that otherwise apply under the TCA. At the same time, in a non-binding declaration, the UK and EU agreed to enter into a memorandum of understanding by March 2021 on the establishment of a cooperation framework. This will involve discussions on how to “move forward on both sides with equivalence determination”. An attempt to “move forward” is cautiously welcomed as the EU’s focus on the potential for UK divergence from EU standards in some areas appears to have stalled the equivalence assessment process, although this may continue to pose a challenge in the coming months.
Our briefing considers the TCA and cross-border market access issues in more detail, and assesses the current state of play in equivalence and divergence.
Please read our full briefing here.