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'No rush' on City of London access to EU, says EU official

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LONDON (Reuters) – The European Union and Britain expect to agree a cooperation framework for financial services by the end of March, but there will be “no rush” on granting the City of London access to the EU, the bloc’s financial services chief said on Tuesday.

Britain fully left the EU’s orbit on Dec. 31, setting its huge financial sector largely adrift from what had been its biggest export customer.

“We will not be recreating access to the single market for the UK as they have chosen to move out,” Mairead McGuinness told an event held by the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA).

The shift in euro stock and derivatives trading from London to the bloc without disruption at the start of the year meant that the EU has time to reflect on how much access it should grant Britain’s financial sector, McGuinness said.

Once the new cooperation framework is agreed, the next step would be to move on to the detail of future access.

“There is no rush,” McGuinness said.

“There won’t be a moment, as there was with the trade agreement, where we are sitting down and announcing a big package. I see it more on a case-by-case basis,” she added.

“While there may be one or two issues there might be pressure points, there isn’t that great urgency, which allows us time to do the right thing and I think that is understood on the UK side.”

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