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'Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed' on BREXIT financial services deal

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'Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed' on BREXIT financial services deal

The City of London seen from Canary Wharf
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REUTERS - The City of London is seen from Canary Wharf
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A British government spokesperson has told Euronews that "good progress" is being made on agreeing new arrangements for financial services after Brexit.

“While we continue to make good progress agreeing new arrangements for financial services, negotiations are ongoing and nothing is agreed until everything is agreed,” the spokesperson said.

The statement was in response to an article in UK newspaper The Times that reported a deal had been reached to give London's financial services companies continued access to European markets.

Such an agreement would give the UK the same level of access to the EU as major U.S. and Japanese firms, while tying it to many EU finance rules for years to come.

Euronews contacted the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK for its response. A spokesperson sent back paragraphs from a speech Andrew Bailey delivered last week and said "it covers the points of what the FCA’s thoughts are on access to EU markets."

It highlighted the following paragraph from the Deputy Governor of the Bank of England's speech: "One broad outcome is to seek to stay closely aligned to the EU.

"There are good reasons for doing this: our markets are closely integrated and we have developed much of the EU financial services together."

Initial reports that a deal had been struck were also met with some speculation - some British politicians brushed it aside as 'spin'.

Liberal Democrat, Tom Brake MP, tweeted telling people not to be "conned by today's news".

Tom Brake MP tweeted his response to the 'deal' reports

Former Labour party spin doctor, Alastair Campbell, also played down initial reports of the deal - and tweeted about the UK losing its say on market access rules.

Alastair Campbell weighs in on the financial services 'deal'

Labour MEP Richard Corbett also voiced his concern about the UK losing its say.

Richard Corbett MEP comments on the UK losing its say on market access

All of this comes as Swiss bank UBS announced today that it will be moving 64 jobs from its London office to continental Europe in preparation for Brexit, with more likely to follow.

A UBS spokesperson told Euronews that, in light of initial reports that a deal had been reached, nothing had changed on their side since it was informed that it will merge its London branch with UBS Europe SE, which is based in Frankfurt.

The spokesperson also said: "Given the continuing uncertainty on transition arrangements and the potential future restrictions on providing financial services into the EU from the UK, we are in the process of obtaining regulatory approvals for the merger of UBS Limited, our UK-headquartered subsidiary, into UBS Europe SE, our German-headquartered European subsidiary.

"Following completion of the merger, we expect that UBS Europe SE will become subject to direct supervision by the European Central Bank."

It also comes as Barclays is seeking to move €250 billion of business to the Republic of Ireland ahead of Brexit, the Irish Times has reported. Euronews has contacted Barclays for comment.

Currently, as an EU member, banks and insurers in Britain enjoy unfettered access to customers across the bloc in all financial activities.

However, continued uncertainty has meant many global banks operating in the UK have already moved some staff and reorganised some operations ahead of Britain’s departure from the European Union, due on March 29.

A government ministry spokesperson said to Reuters on Wednesday that "there is no set date for the (EU) negotiations to conclude".

It comes after Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab suggested a deal on the terms of its departure could be finalised by Nov. 21.

Euronews has contacted Mr Raab for comment.