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Financial Services (Implementation of Legislation) Bill [Lords]

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 6:16 pm on 11th February 2019.

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Photo of Mel Stride Mel Stride Financial Secretary to the Treasury and Paymaster General 6:16 pm, 11th February 2019

I thank the hon. Lady for that very appropriate intervention. She is quite right to mention the local presence of financial services across the United Kingdom.

My right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer has already set out the Government’s long-term vision for the future success of the UK’s financial sector, based on world-leading positions in the markets of the future, whether in green finance or in FinTech, and we are pursuing an ambitious global financial partnership strategy to cement our trading relationships with key partners.

However, we also need to ensure that we have appropriate regulations in place, with the right balance between protecting stability and fostering competitiveness. We aim to be the safest and most transparent place to do business, leading the race to the top and always championing high regulatory standards in financial services markets. The Bill will ensure that, in a no-deal scenario, the UK’s regulatory landscape will not fall behind its international counterparts.

The Government have been clear that we do not want a no-deal scenario, but it remains the role of a responsible Government to continue to prepare for all possible outcomes. That includes the event that we reach 29 March without a deal. In those circumstances, we will have brought on to our statute book the vast body of EU legislation that needs to be operative at the point of exit. However, the powers under the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 relate only to legislation operative immediately before exit day. A number of pieces of EU legislation will not be covered by the powers conferred under the withdrawal Act. They include proposals that are either already agreed but which have not yet been implemented, or those that are soon to be agreed beyond our exit from the European Union.