On 15 February 2021, the Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs (the Minister) sent a letter to the Dutch Parliament (Tweede Kamer) containing an update on the Dutch Government’s experience of the EU/UK relationship following the end of the transition period. The letter addresses the policy areas in which the impact of the end of the transition period has become most visible, including among other things the financial markets in general.
Unfortunately no specific or detailed consequences or developments are discussed in the letter. In relation to the financial markets, the Minister notes that with the end of the transition period, UK financial institutions lost their European passports allowing them to provide services directly in the EU, as a result of which a large part of the EU-related services had to move from the UK to the EU. According to the Minister, this move has to date happened without major complications. In the Netherlands, the Authority for the Financial Markets (Autoriteit Financiële Markten, the AFM) and the Dutch Central Bank (De Nederlandsche Bank, DNB) supervised this with increased intensity and will continue to do so in the coming period. Furthermore, the Minister notes that in the field of financial services, horizontal cooperation agreements have been agreed in the trade agreement. These agreements are in line with previous agreements made by the EU with Japan and relate, among other things, to bilateral discussions about changes in rules for possible equivalence decisions. In the political statement, it was decided to conclude a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in March 2021 to further shape this cooperation. The Dutch government considers a MoU to be an appropriate instrument to further shape the intention of cooperation in the field of financial services between the UK and the EU. According to the Minister this offers the possibility of cooperation without preventing the parties from taking unilateral measures, for example with regard to equivalence. The European Commission is taking the lead in negotiations on the MoU with the UK.