The oil-rich kingdom is a major importer of goods and weapons from the EU and several top British banks have operations in the country. Royal Bank of Scotland is the European bank with the largest turnover in Saudi Arabia, with around 150 million euros ($169 million) in 2015, according to public data.
A no-deal Brexit would mean Britain leaving the European Union without an agreement on trade. Currently, the UK is on track for such a scenario because a deal giving London and Brussels a 21-month transition period to negotiate a trading relationship is at risk of collapse.
France and Germany had taken joint responsibility for the SPV. A German banker would head up the vehicle, which would be based in France. France, Britain and Germany will be shareholders and they hope other states will join.
The president triggered a power struggle when he sacked prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe late last month and appointed the island's former leader, Mahinda Rajapaksa, a pro-China strongman defeated by Sirisena in an election in 2015, in his place.
Conservatives who want a clean break from the EU have been the most unhappy with how the government has progressively softened their stance ahead of March 2019, when the U.K. is officially meant to go solo.