The day after the European Union's chief negotiator warned that there could be no special deal for Britain's finance sector, the U.K. sent a message back: You need our banks as much as they need you.

"The City of London is actually the banker for Europe," Prime Minister Theresa May told a parliamentary committee on Wednesday. "It's a significant provider of capital finance for Europe. There will be greater recognition of the role that the city plays."

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney used almost exactly the same words during his own questions session in Parliament a couple of hours earlier. He said London handled "the most complicated bits of finance, the wholesale markets, the equity underwriting, the derivatives, FX trading." The British regulatory system meant it was well-equipped to do that business, he said.

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