Although there was virtually zero mention of insurance and financial services in the new EU-UK Brexit agreement, the news has been welcomed within the insurance sector, as it clears a great deal of confusion and uncertainty that would have been the outcome of a WTO no-deal. Although spreading fear, issuing regular calls to rejoin and constantly finding fault will remain the day job for many Remainers in the political elite, Sky, the BBC et al, much of the rest of the UK will simply feel like getting life back to normal and rolling out the Covid vaccine.
Following the announcement of the UK-EU trade deal, Huw Evans, ABI Director General, says:
“This is welcome news. While this agreement doesn’t directly cover the insurance and wider financial services industry, it provides a good foundation for positive future cooperation with our European neighbours. We hope that this will also allow for outstanding issues to be resolved quickly, such as an agreement on the UK’s continued participation in the motor Green Card Free Circulation Zone, which the EU Commission needs to ratify quickly.”
(This was issued just before the deal was announce on Christmas Eve.)
Passporting will no longer be possible after the end of the transition period. The FCA, working with other UK authorities, has introduced the temporary permissions regime (TPR). The TPR will allow EEA-based firms passporting into the UK to continue operating in the UK within the scope of their current permissions for a limited period, while they seek full FCA authorisation, if required. The deadline for EEA firms to notify the FCA they want to enter the TPR closes on 30 December 2020.
The TPR will enable various EEA funds to continue to be marketed in the UK for a limited period provided the fund manager has notified the FCA before the window for notification closes on 30 December 2020.
In addition, the FCA and other UK authorities have also introduced the financial services contracts regime (FSCR). This will allow EEA passporting firms that do not enter the TPR to wind down their UK business in an orderly fashion.
Eurotunnel welcomes the agreement concluded between the United Kingdom and the European Union.
This decision is beneficial to individuals and businesses because it puts an end to a long period of uncertainty.
Although only a week before the end of the transition period during which the EU law continues to apply in the UK, this agreement will be implemented by Eurotunnel from 1 st January 2021. Since the British vote in 2016, the Group has indeed worked with States to offer its customers the easiest and fastest service to cross the Channel regardless of the Brexit terms. Eurotunnel has invested 47 million euros to modernize and adapt its infrastructure to maintain the fluidity of border crossings and traffic in the Tunnel.
The “Eurotunnel Border Pass” makes it possible in particular to circulate the information necessary for the passage of goods, from carriers to Eurotunnel and then from Eurotunnel to the authorities of the two countries, in a secure and dematerialized manner, without the drivers having to get off. their truck when crossing the border, or even to present a document when arriving there.
Yann Leriche, CEO of Getlink (Paris: GET), declared : “ Eurotunnel and its 2,500 employees are committed to offering a reliable and efficient service to make life easier for our customers, which is our role as the undisputed leader in cross-Channel. “
MORE DETAILS TO COME, ALL IN GOOD TIME
“A series of further clarifications will be needed, in particular regarding how the UK will diverge from EU frameworks after 31 December,” the European Commission said in an explanatory document on the trade deal issued on December 24th.
In theory any equivalence rules or market access could be withdrawn at 30 days notice and the EU must consider themselves very pleased that they have retained this bargaining chip.
But insurance, and banking, is a global business. Companies can be relocated anywhere very quickly and to deny EU businesses access to the City of London, or the London Market would be foolish. The EU has much to lose by issuing punitive measures against UK insurers, many of whom are in close partnerhsip with EU insurers, insurtechs, FNOL specialists etc.
IE expects that the EU will seek to place some sort of transaction fee or tax on policies taken out in the UK, but insurers can sidestep this in the same way that Apple, Google and many others avoid CT, by simply funnelling the transactions and IP through EU based entities.
It is going to be a long game of cat and mouse. The one thing that is certain is that UK business travellers and holidaymakers would be wise to layer up on travel insurance, rather than rely on any facile promises printed on EHIC cards. Those only apply one way.