Geico has found itself caught in a legal battle with the UK Government after it said it would no longer take requests from customers who had previously complained about Brexit policies in the UK.
In a statement issued late on Monday, the American company said that its customers in the EU had already been informed that their comments about Brexit were no longer acceptable.
The statement, which was issued on the same day that a petition against Brexit had garnered over 5 million signatures, said that the company was working with its legal advisers and the government to “restore the faith” of its customers by “restoring the UK’s position in the global trading system”.
It added: “In the interest of our business and the public, we are taking this opportunity to provide more clarity on how we will handle customer complaints regarding Brexit and the UK.”
In a tweet, a spokesperson for the UK Foreign Office said that it was “aware of the concerns raised by customers regarding the future of the UK trade relationship with Geico”.
“The UK Government has repeatedly stated that the UK would continue to maintain a strong trading relationship with the United States and the EU, and the Government will continue to make sure that its laws and regulations are applied equally and equally to all businesses in the country,” the spokesperson said.
“We have been in close contact with the Department of Trade and Industry (DOTI) to address the concerns expressed and will continue working with them as part of their ongoing discussions on how best to move forward.”
The spokesperson added that the Government had asked the company to work with them to “get to the bottom of the issues raised”.
Geico’s comments came after a number of customers from the UK expressed their dissatisfaction with the company’s approach to Brexit.
In December, a petition was launched by the Campaign for a Better Europe which called for Geico to stop taking orders from customers.
A petition was also launched last month by the Irish Chamber of Commerce and Industry, a trade body representing businesses from Ireland, against Geico.
“Customers in the European Union are deeply concerned by the Brexit negotiations and are particularly upset that Geico, which has an almost 100% global market share, is unwilling to take on new customers who are opposed to Brexit,” the petition said.
The petition was signed by companies from the City of London and London-based multinationals including Barclays, HSBC, Barclays Plc and Lloyds Banking Group Plc.
Geico had been one of the first companies to take a stand against Brexit after the UK voted to leave the EU in a referendum in June.
The company said at the time that it would continue offering services to the UK in accordance with its contracts.
The UK Government later changed the way in which the country’s financial services industry was governed, allowing companies in the sector to trade freely without being bound by EU rules.
In the weeks following the referendum, a number US-based banks also pulled their business out of the European banking system after it became clear that the EU’s rules governing financial services would not apply to them.
The Department of Brexit said in a statement at the start of the new year that it wanted to “strengthen and promote the UK as a leading international financial centre and a global trading nation”.
It also said that “our Government has made clear its commitment to the full implementation of the EU Single Market and Customs Union”.
It said that Britain’s relationship with Europe “will be stronger and more stable if we continue to fully support the single market and the customs union”.