The European Commission’s vice-president Valdis Dombrovskis argued on Thursday (9 February) that a Brexit deal must benefit financial services sectors in both Europe and Britain.
“We must work towards a solution which eventually works for all,” EU Commissioner for the euro Dombrovskis told London’s free daily financial newspaper City AM.
“Our aim certainly is not to punish the UK,” he added in an interview conducted in Brussels.
“We have to respect the choice of British voters, and as I said we will certainly enter the negotiations with the aim to reach agreement which feeds all: which feeds EU 27 and feeds the UK.”
The commissioner also backed London’s bid to retain its status as a global financial centre following Britain’s departure from the European Union.
Dombrovskis is scheduled to hold talks with British finance minister Phillip Hammond on Thursday as part of a whirlwind pre-Brexit tour of London.
London is the EU’s undisputed financial capital. As a major euro clearing hub it serves as a point of entry for foreign capital into the Union, a position that is by no means guaranteed once the UK leaves the bloc.
Other European capitals are lining up to steal the City’s finance crown and some of the sector’s major players have already announced cutbacks in UK staff.
Frankfurt, Dublin and Paris are all among the challengers jostling for the EU’s financial top spot.