UK PM May’s office calls separate customs territory for N. Ireland ‘unacceptable’

Vince Cable at an anti Brexit rally outside the Houses of Parliament More

Vince Cable at an anti Brexit rally outside the Houses of Parliament More

In an official statement, a UK Government spokesperson said: "While we continue to make good progress agreeing new arrangements for financial services, negotiations are ongoing and nothing is agreed until everything is agreed".

Carney's comments come as Prime Minister Theresa May struggles to keep her divided Conservative Party in check in the Brexit discussions.

It offered a glimmer of hope for anxious businesses, as it said policymakers saw greater clarity on Brexit emerging "in the relatively near term".

Although Raab gave his upbeat assessment a week ago, one British official said there was no reason for the positive picture to have changed.

"I would be happy to give evidence to the committee when a deal is finalized, and now expect Nov 21 to be suitable", he wrote.

A decisive issue keeping sides from a Brexit deal has been London's wish to keep the border of Northern Ireland with Ireland open, preserving frictionless trade, while leaving the EU's single market and customs union to work on its own trade deals.

Many top bankers fear Brexit will slowly undermine London's position as the world's biggest worldwide financial centre, and a Reuters survey found that, so far, just over 600 are moving away.

Equivalence covers a more limited range of business and excludes major activities such as commercial bank lending.

The GBP/USD is trading into the 1.2850 level after a hectic Asia market session saw the Pound take a firm step higher after headlines broke that the European Union and United Kingdom may be making forward progress on Brexit talks after all, but the Bank of England's (BoE) upcoming rate call could keep the Cable under wraps.

Meanwhile, New York is by some measures bigger, it is more centred on American markets.

"Reminder: EU may grant and withdraw equivalence in some financial services autonomously".

The EU's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier denied Thursday a report claiming that London and Brussels had reached a preliminary agreement covering financial services and data.

On the bright side for Britain, the scope of equivalence was substantially increased in January when the European Union updated its "MiFID II" securities and investment rules, letting banks and investment firms from outside the bloc undertake a wider range of investment and trading activities.

In early October, the Bank of England had expressed concern about the slow progress of negotiations and recalled that European companies had passed 69,000 billion pounds in financial commitments through British compensation funds, which would have to be transferred to European funds or interrupted by the end of March 2019 if there was no agreement by then.

Financial services are one of the cornerstones of the UK's economy and their continued access to the European Union single market has been a key sticking point in the Brexit talks.

Britain on Wednesday said there was no set date for Brexit talks to finish, backtracking from a letter by Brexit Minister Dominic Raab that suggested a deal on the terms of its departure could be finalised by November 21.

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