Passporting and Brexit

Held on Tuesday, June 7, 2016


  • Simon Gleeson (partner, Clifford Chance)

  • Jonathan Herbst (partner and global head of financial services, Norton Rose)

  • Graham Bishop (



What should we be talking about at this round-table?
Email your suggestions for the agenda to Harry Atkinson

The CSFI does not take a position for or against Brexit. But it does recognise that, in the event that Britain did vote to leave the EU, things might change as far as the financial services sector is concerned. But, if they do change, how will they change – and what will the implications of those changes be for the City?

This is legitimate territory for the CSFI to explore – indeed, I think it is mandatory. The problem is how to do it without getting bogged down in a broader pro/anti debate that has become impossibly toxic. One idea is to break the question down, and to look at how various parts of the financial services sector will be affected.

That makes sense. But I think it would also make sense to start with a broader issue that affects all of the individual financial services sub-sectors: passporting – or what will happen when/if UK-based companies lose their ability under the Single Market automatically to “passport” their services into the EU. Accordingly, we have set up, as our first “What if?” round-table: Passporting: how important is it? And what options would be available to UK firms post-Brexit?

Our speakers on this fundamental issue are:

  • Simon Gleeson, a partner at Clifford Chance, specialising in financial markets law and regulation, clearing, settlement, derivatives and sovereign debt. His most recent book is International Regulation of Banking (OUP, 2010).
  • Jonathan Herbst, global head of financial services at Norton Rose. He joined the firm in 2002 as a partner, having previously been head of European law at the (then) FSA.
  • Graham Bishop, proprietor of, which is (in my opinion) the best single source of information on EU financial regulation available in the UK. He is also the anchor speaker of the CSFI’s Brussels for Breakfast series.

Beyond ‘passporting’, we hope to set up similar meetings on:

  • Euro-clearing: To what extent would the UK have access to EU clearing in a post-Brexit world?
  • Trade reporting: Would it be affected by Brexit?
  • The European exchange space: With or without the DB/LSE (or ICE/LSE) merger, what would Brexit mean for equities trading?

For the moment, however, we are concentrating on the broader issue of passporting.