Sterling edges up but traders cautious on Brexit talks

The new intervention from Mr Barnier suggests Brussels will resist the idea

The Governor added the Bank decided not to take a "glass half empty" view on the outcome of talks, despite warnings from Europe's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier that Britain can not have a special deal for the City of London.

The development comes after European Union leaders signed off last week on the first stage of Brexit negotiations, ending more than a year of stalemate over Britain's bill for leaving the bloc, as well as the fate of the Irish border and European Union expatriates.

The European Commission has approved guidelines covering Brussels' position on the transition, which have been drawn up by Michel Barnier.

Mrs May's comments came as the commission put forward proposals for a transition period which would last from Brexit day on March 29 2019 to the end of December 2020.

Last week, the European Union and Britain agreed that there was enough progress in negotiations so far to open them up to future relations and a trade deal. Many of those banks, like Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley have their main European operations in London at present."The crucial thing here is to reassure EU banks that they can operate as they can now", said Matt Hancock, minister for digital, later told the BBC.

The 21-month transition would align the UK's final departure with the end of the EU's seven-year budget, to which Britain contributes.

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The Association for Financial Markets in Europe (AFME), grouping European banks, said the BoE's announcement would allow banks to get on with their planning for Brexit.

Management consultancy Boston Consulting Group has estimated that European Union banks would have to find up to 40 billion euros if all their branches in Britain were turned into subsidiaries.

Chancellor Philip Hammond said: "I am confident that we will agree a deep and special partnership for the future with the EU27 and that we will soon finalise the terms of an implementation period that will ‎provide continuity as we move to that new partnership".

He appeared to indicate that Spain would have a veto on any transitional arrangements covering Gibraltar, saying decisions on the issue would be "made for the 27, unanimously, by consensus".

If foreign banks began leaving, the City's fabric would begin to unravel, industry officials have said.

In an interview with The Guardian and European newspapers, Mr Barnier said on Monday there is "no place" for financial services if the United Kingdom leaves the single market when it leaves the EU.

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