Britain left the EU last January and unfettered access to the single market under transition arrangements ends on Dec. 31.
Brussels and London are in talks on a free trade agreement, though financial services are being handled separately.
“Under all circumstances, deal or no deal, trading in financial services will be different and less fluid as of the first of January next year,” Mairead McGuinness told the European Parliament.
If confirmed by the parliament, McGuinness will lead the European Commission’s work that will decide how much EU access the City of London will have from January.
“We need to avoid being overly dependent on a third country for key financial services,” she said in a confirmation hearing on her appointment as financial services commissioner.
McGuinness said the EU currently does not have sufficient knowledge to decide on market access for UK financial services beyond the 18 months granted for UK clearing houses from January.
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