Boris Johnson believes in “cakeism”: having it and eating it. His plan to secure post-Brexit access to the European market for the City of London has a predictably lofty tone. Britain wants the right to set its own rules. It also wants a “permanent equivalence” regime — a recognition that rules are closely enough aligned to grant market access — that will last for “decades to come”.

Don’t kid yourselves, said the EU’s top negotiator, Michel Barnier. That option is not on offer. Indeed, a UK briefing paper, snapped outside Downing Street, appeared to acknowledge as much. The alternatives mooted were far less attractive.

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, ProfileData financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Times Select.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.



Questions or problems? Email helpdesk@businesslive.co.za or call 0860 52 52 00. Got a subscription voucher? Redeem it now