Nobody loves rule-makers, but despite the grumbles the UK had a good deal from the EU on financial services.
Ask the French, they say we always got what we wanted and if I’m allowed to blow my own trumpet, we did.
Now there is uncertainty stalking everything.
A big overarching problem is whether all kinds of contracts will remain valid after Brexit especially those that reference authorisations or legislation that might disappear or change.
How can contracts that extend years into the future be negotiated now or must that business be forgone through uncertainty?
No wonder investment banks are looking to move long before the negotiations are finished.
Is it any simpler for trading platforms?
Well as long as you know how to sort out trading obligations that determine what investment firms within the EU are allowed to do on trading platforms outside the EU.
Anything that includes price discovery is forbidden. Then what happens if UK shares are entered for trading on an EU platform, well, incoming rules could class them as EU shares that then must be traded on an EU platform.
The fight over clearing Euro-denominated securities is well publicised.
Multi-currency clearing saves money on netting so to keep it together it could mean up to 100,000 jobs relocating out of London.
Without a fast deal to stop uncertainty the likely winner is New York which already has regulatory equivalence with the EU for Central Counterparties.
Uncle Sam may have more clout to negotiate and they have the equivalence bird in their hand. Then what about London issued bonds denominated in Euros, will they still be eligible for European Central Bank repo?
Where will trade reporting, quoting and various other approved publication arrangements sit? There are no equivalence regimes for those so these may need to relocate to serve EU clients.
The list goes on and on for portfolio managers, unable to sell into the EU; country by country authorisations, capital requirements and fragmented supervision.
Voting Liberal Democrat in Richmond Park and North Kingston will tell the Government that it must turn back from hard Brexit and the uncertainty caused by its equivocation.