Hard Brexit will “significantly” harm EU, argues McFarlane

Barclays chairman John McFarlane has warned that a no-deal Brexit will “very significantly” harm the European Union (EU), while speaking at a summit yesterday.

The outgoing chairman, who is due to step down from his role in May, also noted that a financial services deal would be struck, regardless of the Brexit outcome.

Speaking at a Brexit summit yesterday, 21 March 2019, McFarlane said: “In the event of a no-deal Brexit, it would hurt the EU very significantly.”

Barclays put away £150m at the end of 2018 in a bid to combat the impact of economic uncertainty in the UK, and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) yesterday confirmed that over 1,000 EU firms have taken up the UK’s offer of continued access to London in the event of a hard Brexit.

However, the regulator warned that firms had less than a week left to join the temporary permissions regime.

According to McFarlane, the EU and Eurozone are increasingly becoming a “closed system” in financial services, while London has developed and “evolved” as a global financial hub by being open.

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