Financial Services (Implementation of Legislation) Bill [HL] - Committee (1st Day)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 4:15 pm on 8th January 2019.

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Photo of Lord Bates Lord Bates The Minister of State, Department for International Development 4:15 pm, 8th January 2019

We will have the debate under the future group of amendments on equivalence. We are not setting here the test or the bar as one of equivalence. We are simply talking about the specific directives and regulations before us and mentioned in the Bill: the 15 here; the four already agreed, which are mentioned on page 1 of the Bill; and the further 11 mentioned in the schedule accompanying it, which have not yet been agreed. Because they have not been agreed and may be under debate or amendment without the UK at the negotiating table, we are simply adding in that greater level of power to say that the UK, in the event of leaving without a deal, would need to look after the interests of the UK financial and industry sector and could not give a blank cheque in the opposite direction to the EU to pass whatever regulation that we would automatically implement because of adherence to a notion of equivalence. That cannot be right for UK financial services. We need to look at what comes to us, then act within the interests of the UK financial services sector at that time.

I will deal with some of the specific points raised. The noble Lord, Lord Sharkey, talked about the recommendation of the Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform Committee. I pay tribute to the work it did on this and the quick turnaround and punchy conclusions it arrived at. We are considering its recommendations, which the noble Baroness, Lady Liddell, asked us to look at. I will be happy to meet with noble Lords ahead of Report to discuss where we stand. I thank the Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform Committee for its work and recognise that it raised some very pertinent issues. We want to look at them in greater detail, and I would be happy to discuss that with noble Lords ahead of Report.

I hope I have gone some way to addressing noble Lords’ points at this stage. We will come to a number of the other points in future debates and groups.