Brexit warning: Nigel Farage threatens to ‘shut down’ Paris if EU tries to bully Britain



05.07.2019 16:08

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The escalating row stems from the European Commission’s demand for the Swiss to sign up to a new partnership treaty in a move widely interpreted as indicative of the bloc’s determination not to amend its single market rules ahead of the October 31 Brexit deadline. Up until the end of June, investment firms in the bloc were able to trade on the Swiss stock exchange using an arrangement known as “equivalence”. Switzerland’s refusals to sign the treaty has prompted the Commission, the executive arm of the European Union, to allow the system to lapse, with Switzerland retaliating by banning the trading of Swiss shares on EU markets.

However, Mr Farage said if the EU tried a similar approach with the UK, it would be in for a rude awakening.He said: “They can try these things all the like.“Actually, this mob are minnows. In global financial markets they are minnows.“They can try and flex their muscles on clearing, whatever it is, but it will not work.

“Ultimately, if you want to raise short term capital in Europe, you need to go to London.”Mr Farage, who was speaking to The Daily Telegraph at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, added: “If they try and threaten us in terms of capital markets and financial markets, all we have to do is break free, undercut them in terms of regulation and we will close down Paris and Frankfurt within a year.”Speaking to financial news website, Reto Föllmi, an economics professor at the University of St Gallen, said: “The EU has gone down the wrong path when choosing a punitive measure.“This has harmed EU investors more than the Swiss. And it has made the Swiss government more determined to stand up to Brussels.”

Brussels is trying to launch a new project, the Capital Markets Union, to reduce dependence on London as a financial centre.The row over equivalence is somewhat reminiscent of that over Britain’s attempts to leave the EU.The EU’s dispute with the Swiss stems from the EU’s wish to replace what it regards as an unwieldy system consisting of 120 bilateral agreements, which it regards as “cherry-picking”, with one single umbrella deal.

After Swiss officials tabled a number of questions concerning the protection of Swiss wages, citizens’ rights and state aid, the commission accused it of trying to reopen the agreement - much as it did with the UK over Brexit.A commission document published last month said: “An expiry of the ‘equivalence’ may be just the warning shot across the bow they need. “We simply cannot accept further attempts at foot-dragging and watering down internal market rules, especially in what is probably the decisive phase regarding Brexit.”


express entertainment додав (ла) Cavan Bradford


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