Brussels for Breakfast (133)

Held on Tuesday, October 17, 2017

With support from PwC


  • Graham Bishop (independent consultant,

  • Michael Sholem (Davis Polk)



It has been a busy few weeks.  On the one hand, Macron’s much-trailed speech at the Sorbonne painted a picture of ever-closer European union (post-Brexit), with a common Treasury, a eurozone finance minister and even the much-maligned FTT binding North and South together.  On the other hand, the German elections gave the integrationist camp a nasty shock, what with the (avowedly anti-European) AfD doing considerably better than expected and the (lukewarm) FDP likely to form a key part of Merkel’s new coalition.  And then there’s Catalonia – and Madrid’s ham-fisted attempt to crush separatist sentiment.  Plus, the growth of a nationalist backlash in Central Europe continues – and now threatens to spill over to the Czech Republic. 

Does that mean Brussels will lose interest in Brexit?  Does it mean Barnier et al will simply wish us all Godspeed, so that they can deal more effectively with the other fish they have to fry? 

I doubt it – and the Parliament’s latest communication, indicating that there is little chance that enough progress will have been made to move on to trade talks, suggests the mood across the water is just as bitter as it has been all Summer.  And Mrs May’s domestic problems won’t help – if, indeed, she is still PM when you read this. 

Fortunately, our guide to the Brexit negotiations – and to all the myriad European legislation that is still thundering down the pike (MiFID II, the GDP, Open Banking/API etc) is still as bright-eyed and bushy-tailed as ever.  Indeed, my guess is that Graham Bishop may take a rather less negative view of the way things are going than I do myself. 

We shall see, but I am delighted that he has, once again, agreed to walk us through what’s going on in terms of regulation and its impact on the City.  Joining Graham, we are pleased to welcome Michael Sholem. Michael is regulatory counsel with Davis Polk, specialising in financial services clients and the EU rules and policies affecting financial institutions.

If you (or a colleague) would like to join us, and share your own thoughts, please let me know by emailing or by calling the Centre on 020 7 621 1056.  Thanks to the hospitality of PwC, I can promise lots of tea, coffee and sticky buns. 

Sincerely yours,

Andrew Hilton