November 1, 2018 / 11:37 AM / 11 days ago

PM May's spokesman says reports of UK-EU financial services deal are speculation

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May and Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond leave 10 Downing Street, in London, Britain, 31 October, 2018. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls

LONDON (Reuters) - Prime Minster Theresa May’s spokesman said reports that Britain was close to securing a deal to give it basic access to EU financial markets were speculation, and negotiations were ongoing.

“This is speculation. While we continue to make good progress agreeing new arrangements for financial services, negotiations are ongoing,” the spokesman said.

The reported deal would be based on equivalence, meaning that the UK would have access to the EU similar to that of major U.S. and Japanese firms, but the spokesman said on Thursday that Britain’s objective was to go beyond existing equivalence regimes.

Reporting by William James; editing by Sarah Young

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