LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s huge financial services industry will lose more jobs to Europe in the coming years due to Brexit, the City of London chief politician told Reuters, warning people not to be fooled by the low number of job changes across the continent far.
FILE PHOTO: Catherine McGuinness, Chair of the City of London Corporation’s Policy and Resources Committee, poses for a picture in London, Britain, Jan. 17, 2018. REUTERS / Hannah McKay
Home of global forex, bond and fund management and more banks than any other financial center, the City of London is on the verge of upheaval as companies decide whether to move jobs to continental Europe to continue serving customers after the UK did The country should leave the EU in two weeks.
Catherine McGuinness, political director of the financial district’s local government, warned that the country’s largest export sector and source of corporate taxes have no “god-given right” to global financial supremacy.
“The announced job changes are currently rather low. We would expect these to rise, ”said McGuinness in an interview in a room away from the seat of power of the local government in the medieval Guildhall. “It’s not the end of the story. This is a high risk moment for the city. “
Since the UK voted to leave the European Union three years ago, London’s financial services industry has been rocking the prospect of ending four decades of regulatory integration and losing access to the bloc in one fell swoop later this year.
McGuinness said business leaders were frustrated with three years of uncertainty and concerns about the political dynamics behind the no-deal exit.
“We need the government to stop playing around and regulate our long-term future on the basis that will allow us to develop a harmonious relationship with our EU partners in the future,” she said.
Britain and the EU will meet at a summit in Brussels on Thursday to agree on a divorce settlement, otherwise the UK faces an extension or a disorderly exit without an agreement.
“A disorderly Brexit would be a bad thing, and I don’t think anyone is excited about an extension. We don’t want cans to be stepped on the street, ”said McGuinness.
But since global banks are not loyal to anyone, she urged the government to help the city continue to recruit international talent, build decent housing and transportation, and keep banks competitive after the United States cut taxes.
When asked whether she would prefer to leave Britain without a deal or a socialist government led by opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn, McGuinness said the question was difficult to answer.
“A destructive exit would be a very bad thing,” she said. “Any kind of government that only looks at the overall needs of the entire economy would be the better solution.”
Reporting by Huw Jones and Andrew MacAskill, editing by David Evans