Lobbyists representing some of London finance’s largest companies are demanding a legal lifeline from European policy makers to ensure data can continue to be transferred between the U.K. and the EU in the event of a crash-out Brexit.
The International Regulatory Strategy Group, which is attended by representatives from the likes of BlackRock, Citigroup and Goldman Sachs, has urged the European Commission to introduce temporary arrangements to allow the personal information that companies handle to continue to be exchanged between financial organizations after Brexit.
In a letter sent to European policy makers on Thursday evening, the industry body warned that “insufficient measures are in place to ensure the continued and uninterrupted flow of personal data” if the U.K. crashes out of the EU without a deal, with firms on the continent particularly unprepared.
The letter comes amid heightened uncertainty over the future direction of Brexit; with British politicians still unable to agree a way forward and just 49 days until the U.K. is legally obliged to leave the EU, a no-deal exit is looking increasingly likely.
The British Prime Minister Theresa May will have dinner with Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar on Friday. She is attempting to secure changes to the Irish backstop that she hopes will convince U.K. parliamentarians to back a reworked Brexit deal. But there is little hope of a major breakthrough.
European officials are reported to have warned that decisions about the final exit deal won’t be taken until a scheduled meeting of European leaders on March 22 — a week before the official Brexit day.
Sterling dropped on the news, from $1.29513 at 07:20 GMT to trade at $1.29292 at around 09:00.
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Brexit Brief: U.K. banks fret over data exchanges in disorderly split – MarketWatch