The British government official who is overseeing British trade policy across the U.S. told a SIFMA symposium in New York Thursday that the U.K. will “definitely not” invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty to begin the process of exiting the European Union before the end of this year.
Antonia Romeo, U.K. Consul General in New York and Director-General Economic & Commercial Affairs USA, also said the U.K. will not follow any existing model in its exit, presumably referring to the different EU arrangements with Norway and Switzerland, which have access to the single European market but are required to abide by some of the EU’s laws.
Romeo said the U.K. wants to enter exit negotiations from a position of great strength before invoking Article 50, which starts a two-year clock to exit the EU. “The process is very complex [and we] will take the time needed to get it right,” said Romeo.
Before those negotiations begin, SIFMA, along with the American Bankers Association, the Financial Services Forum and Financial Services Roundtable, said in a letter to U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew that they encourage U.K. and EU policymakers to include a transition period before Brexit takes place. The groups explained that U.S. financial firms need “ample time” to adapt to new trade and investment relationships.
“Brexit, if not managed effectively, represents a significant risk to the financial markets and global economy,” the letter stated.
In the letter, the trade groups also urged Lew to encourage his U.K. and EU counterparts to:
• Be transparent as possible in their negotiation.