Govt withholds details of Brexit impact on asset managers

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The UK government is refusing to release internal studies on the Brexit impact on 58 industries, including asset management and other sectors within financial services.

A letter from Brexit minister David Davis in response to the House of Lords EU external affairs sub-committee argues that doing so would weaken its negotiating hand.

“We will not publish anything that would undermine the Government’s ability to negotiate the best deal in the national interest, nor will we prejudge outcomes that are dependent on negotiations,” Davis writes on behalf of the Department for Exiting the European Union.

But critics say that must mean the reports present a grim picture of life outside the EU.

The letter does confirm the exact industries that reports have been produced for, noting they make up 88 per cent of the economy.

Asset management, fintech, insurance and pensions, market infrastructure and investment banking feature from financial services, alongside industries as varied as libraries and museums to fisheries.

Davis reiterates that the UK will no longer be a member of the single market or the customs union when it exits the EU and will instead pursue a “new, comprehensive economic partnership”.

However, chief EU negotiator Michel Barnier has said there will be no special deal for the UK, indicating an existing model will likely be adopted as the basis for any agreement.

Davis says in 2016 the UK imported £242bn of goods from the EU, while it exported £145bn and therefore wants to see zero tariffs on goods. For services Davis says they seek to “minimise regulatory and market access barriers”.