UK banks warned that hard Brexit will cut them off from single market
UK banks can forget unfettered access to the single market if Britain chooses a "hard" Brexit, the EU's financial services chief has said.
European Commission vice president Valdis Dombrovskis said "passporting" rights for banks - the ability to operate freely across borders - will be guaranteed only if the UK negotiates access to the single market after leaving.
Paying to stay in the single market would likely cost Britain even more than EU membership, however.
Norway paid around €870m into EU funds in 2015, or €167 a head.
To keep its banks in the single market, the UK would also have to give EU immigrants the right to work, which Brexit minister David Davis has said is not on the cards.
"If the UK remains within the internal market, it can keep passporting," said Mr Dombrovskis, the European Commission's vice-president in charge of financial services.
"This is a strategic choice, then, for the UK to make - whether it's willing to stick with those conditions in order to have access to the internal market," he said.
Meanwhile, in London, the Irish-born president of financial services giant Morgan Stanley warned that Britain will suffer as a result of Brexit.
Colm Kelleher said yesterday that some financial firms will pull their headquarters out of the UK unless passport arrangements are kept.