On 14 October 2019, the Queen delivered her Speech, outlining the Government’s legislative agenda. The Queen’s Speech sets out 26 legislative bills, of which seven are entirely concerned with measures for leaving the European Union. In addition, the Government has published a background briefing relating to the Queen’s Speech, providing a summary of the content and legislation to be brought forward by the Government.

Of particular relevance to financial services is the ‘Financial Services Bill’. The purpose of the Bill is to ensure that the UK maintains its world-leading regulatory standards and remains open to international markets after the UK leaves the EU. The main elements of the Bill are:

  • simplifying the process which allows overseas investment funds to be sold in the UK;
  • implementing the Basel standards to strengthen the regulation of global banks; and
  • allowing long-term market access to the UK for financial services firms in Gibraltar.

The UK’s implementation of the Basel standards will be its first implementation of international banking standards outside of the EU, and may indicate how far the UK intends to diverge from EU financial regulation in the future.

While these are welcome measures, there was no specific reference to the onshoring of inflight EU files. The Bill that sought to provide a legal mechanism to implement pre-exit EU legislation had fallen following the prorogation of Parliament (see previous blog here).