Prime Minister Theresa May has revealed when she’ll start pulling the UK out of the European Union (EU) and insurers have already come up with a list of priorities for the industry as they seek to make the best of the Brexit move.
Ahead of May’s announcement of the Brexit blueprint on Sunday, the Association of British Insurers (ABI) said regulation in the UK’s interest, passporting rights, data protection, skills and international trade are the five top priorities for the industry.
“The ABI Board has set out five areas it considers important for the UK to focus its efforts on as it prepares its initial negotiating position… We are determined to get the best possible outcome for the industry,” said ABI director general Huw Evans.
Evans also urged the government to secure transitional arrangements to avoid a “protracted political timescale” impacting on business location decisions.
According to Evans, the new priorities agreed by the ABI board are:
- Securing a regulatory environment that is appropriate for the UK market
- Retaining the ability to passport out of and into the UK
- Closely mirroring the EU data protection regime to avoid a quagmire of complexity around how personal and non-personal data is protected
- An improved future migration policy that enables the employment of high-skilled professionals from both within and outside the EU
- A strong focus on regulatory dialogue and international agreements in overseas financial services markets, especially in India and China
Evans said the future of the UK insurance industry will remain bright if the challenges ahead will be handled correctly.
On Sunday, May told members of her Conservative Party that she’ll pull the formal trigger for the two-year Brexit talks by the end of March 2017. This means the UK is expected to leave the EU by summer 2019.
May also said she’ll introduce a bill next year to convert all existing EU laws into UK legislation on the day Brexit is completed, Bloomberg
reported. She likewise vowed to control immigration in Britain’s best interests while retaining access for business to the European single market.
“There will be no unnecessary delays in invoking Article 50. We will invoke it when we are ready. And we will be ready soon. We will invoke Article 50 no later than the end of March next year,” Bloomberg
quoted May as saying.
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