Economies in both EU member states and the United Kingdom would be put under “immediate and significant threat” unless businesses could continue unimpeded by Brexit, according to City of London bosses.
The stark warning comes as the City of London officials hold their annual gala in the Belgian capital, which plays host to high-ranking policymakers, MEPs and various officials.
Catherine McGuinness, policy chairman for City of London Corporation, told her audience: “There is already increasing concern in the sector about the current uncertainty on these issues.
“Concern from institutions and indeed regulators both within the EU and UK and beyond.
“The possibility that industry will not be able to service their clients poses an immediate and significant threat to financial stability and the smooth and orderly operation of both EU and UK economies.”
EU officials, on Thursday, insisted they are still working toward completing a withdrawal agreement and future partnership with Britain despite their increased no-deal planning.
A spokesman for the European Commission said: “We are working for a deal that’s what matters. That’s what our priority is and that’s what we’ll continue doing.”
Britain is presenting a more worrying image for Brussels, with EU ambassadors insisting no-deal preparedness should increase because of uncertainty in the House of Commons.
A private memo circulated ahead of a secret meeting sets out a vision for “intensified” contingency plans on both a domestic and EU level.
The document reads: “Preparedness work has to intensify in the months ahead at national as well as EU level, as uncertainty remains about the outcome of the negotiations and the ratification of a possible deal.”
Part of the reason is down to Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn threatening to sink Theresa May’s Brexit deal with Brussels in order to trigger a general election.
The hard-left leader offered the same warning to the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier.
After their Brussels meeting, Mr Corbyn told reporters: “What we did was set out our views which we’ve set out very carefully and I must say he was very well aware of what both of us have said at our party conference and he then set out in broad terms what the progress is and what the timetable is and the importance of reaching an agreement.
“We discussed with him our six tests which are about ensuring that the manufacturing industry and supply chain is intact on both sides of the Channel and that EU nationals’ position in Britain is secure and that there is no hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.”
After facing humiliation at an informal gathering of EU leaders, the Prime Minister must now face down furious party members who are also keen to leave her Chequers proposal dead in the water.
European Council President Donald Tusk explained in a post-summit press conference that economic proposals in her plan “don’t work”.
His admission offered fresh hope to Brexiteers who have complained Chequers will deliver “Brexit in name only”.