The ABI warned the insurance industry that a bad deal could lead to the possibility that Britain could become rule takers without any say in EU legislation after Brexit
The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has called the Brexit deal agreed between British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the European Union a “positive sign”.
The representative body continued to prioritise the importance of providing certainty to businesses in the insurance industry — a position they’ve maintained throughout the Brexit debate.
It also warned against the possibility of the UK being left with less influence in the legislative process of the EU, a sentiment that echoes that of Boris Johnson at the BIBA 2019 conference earlier this year.
ABI director general Huw Evans said: “This agreement is a positive sign, but the key test is whether Parliament will vote for it.
“It is important that however we leave the EU, we do so in an orderly way that provides certainty for business, consumers and our world-leading insurance and long-term savings industry.
“Then we can move on to the important question of what a constructive future relationship with the EU looks like, that avoids the UK becoming a permanent rule-taker.”
Johnson warned Britain could become rule taker
During his BIBA 2019 conference speech, given to industry professionals in May this year, Johnson warned that Brussels could undermine the competitiveness of British insurers and brokers through damaging regulation if the country does not reach the right agreement with the EU.
The former UK Foreign Secretary urged the UK not to pursue a soft Brexit because it would be left with the “worst of both worlds” by remaining tied to EU rules.
He said: “Be in no doubt that in the implementation period that’s coming up – but also if we get this wrong in the back stop and beyond – Brussels could use the opportunity to undermine the competitiveness of our businesses and our markets.
“It could force on more regulation of the kind that is designed to damage the competitiveness of a great UK industry.”
To support his own position, Johnson pointed to comments made by Evans back in February, when it was still unclear whether Britain would leave the trading bloc on March 29.
In the statement, Evans said: “I cannot think of many countries in the world where some of its leading politicians would openly contemplate signing up one of its world-leading sectors to decades of rules made by our competitors.”
At the time Johnson said the quote should be posted “everywhere in the Treasury”.