EU Internal Policy

BRUSSELS BLOCK: EU send back British workers away from ‘sensitive’ Brexit meetings

BRUSSELS has started to systematically shut out British firms and workers from sensitive European discussions as it prepares for Brexit, it has emerged.

Theresa May GETTY           The EU commission has blocked British workers from sensitive meetings

Some financial service experts from the UK working in the European Commission have even been sent back to London by bloc officials concerned they will overhear sensitive intel, which will be fed back to Britain.The revelation comes after the chief executive of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) revealed Britain has been blocked from discussions surrounding the European Union’s (EU) future relationship with the UK.

The Commission, headed up by Michel Barnier, has demanded employees from the UK civil service working on Brexit-related issues be moved to a different unit or relocated.

There are times when they want to discuss Brexit without us being present

FCA chief executive Andrew Bailey

In some instances, a handful of workers were sent back to London with their contracts terminated with a notice of three months, according to politics news site Commission source said the situation was explored on “a case-by-case assessment in order to avoid, in the interest of everyone involved, any possible conflict of interest situations”.

They added: “In each case, we aim for the one that is proportionate and works best for all.”

Meanwhile, FCA’s Andrew Bailey revealed workers are “shuttled in and out” during talks at the European Securities and Markets Authority.

He told the Financial Times: “There are times when they want to discuss Brexit without us being present, and there are issues they want to discuss amongst themselves, so we have a bit of shuttling in and shuttling out.”

ESMA confirmed Britain had been shut out of some talks, but declined to comment further.

Officials told the paper that the Bank of England’s Prudential Regulation Authority share the same relationship with the European Banking Authority.Mr Bailey also warned Parliament may not be prepared for the technical work involved in transposing EU laws into UK law.

He revealed the FCA had hired 15 extra lawyers to help with the work.

Michel Barnier GETTY          Barnier leads the EU Commission

Mr Bailey told the newspaper: “The European parliament takes a bigger scrutinising role and that’s not what the Westminster Parliament is particularly in the business of doing.“It’s come back a bit recently with things like ring-fencing and the senior managers’ regime, but they’re the exception, not the rule, for Westminster.”

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