Attorney General confirms IFAs will be unaffected by Brexit
In an astonishing scoop for a compliance consultant to stumble upon, I can report exclusively here that the Attorney General Jeremy Wright QC MP on Friday the 26th February at the Cotswold Conservatives breakfast meeting confirmed that EU financial legislation will still apply following a Brexit.
The Attorney General is responsible for all legal advice to the Government of the day. The source could not be more definitive, and his statement left nothing to the imagination. Jeremy confirmed that the vote is only to leave the EU and not the EEA. And most FCA legislation, including Mifid, is EEA wide, not EU focused. He confirmed that financial services industry would not be affected, because Mifid applies to the EEA area.
The comments were caveated with a long winded explanation on the difference between the EU and EEA and treaty interaction that can only be summarized as - "it's complicated". But his advice was unequivocal and convincing. A Brexit is frankly academic for financial services in the UK. The EEA Agreement does not cover the Insurance Mediation Directive IMD, which gives freedom of access for insurance agents and life assurance sales across the EU, BUT not to the EEA area. In the same way the EEA does not cover agriculture and fisheries.
But the primary focus for financial services is the MiFid legislation, which will remain intact even on an exit. THE EEA was formed in 1992 and is distinct from the EU because it allows for Norway,Lichenstein and Iceland, but not Switzerland or the Channel Isles, to join in the single market, and thus forces them to apply EEA wide rules. UK, like the other EU countries is an EEA country. UK would exit EU but it is unthinkable that she would not remain in EEA. “The vote is not to leave EEA, but to leave EU” said the Attorney General on 26th February 2016 at the Cotswold Conservatives Business Club.
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