On 28 October 2019, there was published on the legislation.gov.uk website the Markets in Financial Instruments Exemptions Directions 2019 (Directions).

The Directions have been made by HM Treasury in exercise of the power conferred by regulation 3(1)(g)(a) of the Equivalence Determinations for Financial Services and Miscellaneous Provisions (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019. Under these powers, HM Treasury, for up to twelve months after exit day, can make equivalence directions and exemption directions for the EU and EEA member states.

The Directions provide that, for the purposes of MiFIR, the central banks of Norway and Iceland are a relevant organisation within the meaning of Article 6 of MiFIR, and accordingly, an organisation to which Article 7 of MiFIR applies.

In a related written statement, John Glen, Economic Secretary to HM Treasury, explains that the Directions are necessary as adaptions to the EEA Agreement granting the exemption for central banks from certain provisions of MiFIR in the event of a no-deal Brexit are not yet operative. The Directions ensure that affected EEA central banks are able to continue to carry out their activities in the UK without disruption at the point of exit.

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