Lords warn City Brexit deal will fail if professional services ignored

By Justin Cash

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Mar 23, 2017

The City may lose out in a Brexit deal if professional services are not properly represented during talks, a House of Lords committee has warned.

The House of Lords EU Internal Market Sub-Committee will release a research paper today arguing that non-financial services such as law and accountancy – but also areas like aviation, broadcasting and telecoms – will require a wide-ranging free trade agreement from the Government if banks and financial firms are to succeed, according to City AM.

Committee chair Lord Whitty told the paper: “I don’t think enough weight has yet been given to these sectors, compared with the City, which everybody says is a top priority, these sectors have received less.”

Whitty warned that a lack of a deal for firms that support the financial services sector would “undermine” any deal it would have.

Whitty singled out fears over the consequences of dismantling any qualifications frameworks that apply across the EU, for example in the legal profession.

Whitty said: “Unless the deal has mutual recognition of qualifications, then the ability of London-based law firms and legal employees of City companies to appear in the courts and do business in the courts is limited.”

Article 50 will be triggered on 29 March.

Whitty said that due to the “magnitude” of Brexit agreements, “getting it all done in 18 months seems a tall order.”

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