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The first deal of Brexit is reportedly close to being reached. Financial services may not be the most exciting subject, but it is Britain’s biggest export and the basis of a deal on the subject will become a template for the rest of the deals we agree.
Agreements on equivalence, a common rulebook and United Kingdom-wide backstop may sound encouraging, but in fact all point to following European Union rules without having a say. It is not what the financial services sector had hoped for and, importantly, is about a loss of sovereignty.
This is an important point, because it feeds into something much wider around how Brexit is turning out, and why people voted for it: we are losing control.
Talk of sovereignty felt very much like the safe ground for the ‘Leave’ campaign during the referendum – and for proto-Brexiters for a long time before that. Unless pro-Europeans change that, then a People’s Vote campaign is unlikely to be successful. But we have to spell out what sovereignty looks like in the modern world. Frankly, it is not that each country gets to choose all the rules it wants to play by. But it certainly is not losing control in the way we currently are either.
-Conor Pope, deputy editor
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