1. EU membership guarantees the right to do business in 27 other member states
Being a member of the EU brings passporting rights. This means UK firms can set up a branch in another EU member state without getting special permission and must be treated in the same way as local firms. This all helps British insurance firms be successful.
2. The UK helps shape EU regulation by being inside the EU
To access the EU market without being a member, the UK will very likely have to meet EU requirements but will have no say on what they look like. By leaving, the UK will lose its place at the table where the rules are decided. This is the situation Norway is in – having to implement EU requirements with no way of shaping them. Leaving the EU would most likely not free the UK from EU regulation. Instead insurers would face the added complication of having to work within even more different regimes, and could find it harder to attract European business.
3. The UK insurance industry thrives as part of a successful UK economy in a prosperous EU
The EU is the UK’s biggest trading partner. For UK insurance companies to thrive we need the UK economy to thrive and being in a prosperous EU helps achieve this. The financial services sector accounts for around 3.4% of UK employment. More than 334,000 people are employed by the insurance industry in the UK, 114,000 directly by insurance companies and 220,000 in related businesses.
4. Leaving the EU will not do away with red tape
It is highly unlikely that the PRA or FCA will start to withdraw any legislation that originated in the EU. Even if they did, insurers wanting to do business in Europe, the largest market in the world for our products, would likely still need to comply with the rules. And those rules might be more complicated if the UK isn’t in the room to help shape them.
5. The UK benefits from the EU’s role in making international trade agreements
The EU negotiates international trade agreements that benefit all EU member states. Being part of the world’s largest trading bloc probably means better deals can be negotiated than if the UK was trying to go it alone. That is why President Obama advises the UK to stay in the EU to maximise its influence.