Paris and Frankfurt could be shut down within a year by Brexit Britain if Brussels tries the same strong-arm tactics on the City of London that it is using on Switzerland’s financial sector, Nigel Farage has warned.
The Brexit Party leader is not intimidated by the EU freezing Swiss stock exchanges out of the bloc’s market on July 1. Bern has retaliated by banning EU stock exchanges from trading Swiss shares, forcing EU traders to go through intermediaries to trade them, which is slower and more expensive.
The European Commission decided to cut out the Swiss in a bid to force them to sign up to a new partnership treaty but also to send Britain a clear message it would not bend on its single market rules ahead of October 31 Brexit deadline.
But Mr Farage was confident that the EU wouldn’t dare to try the same with the City because no other financial hub can rival London’s access to capital markets.
“They can try these things all the like. Actually this mob are minnows. In global financial markets they are minnows,” he told The Telegraph in the European Parliament in Strasbourg.
“They can try and flex their muscles on clearing, whatever it is, but it will not work. Ultimately if you want to raise short term capital in Europe, you need to go to London,” he said.
Mr Farage said, “If they try and threaten us in terms of capital markets and financial markets, all we have to do is break free, undercut them in terms of regulation and we will close down Paris and Frankfurt within a year.”
Mr Farage, a former stockbroker, added he regularly travelled to Frankfurt “when he had a proper job”.
The EU has already made no-deal Brexit plans to ensure that London’s clearing houses so they can continue clearing EU customers’ derivatives trades even if Britain crashes out on Halloween.