Sam Woods, head of the Prudential Regulatory Authority, has called on a transition deal to be agreed between the UK and EU by Christmas, warning that banks will otherwise begin to trigger their contingency plans (BBC, October 2017, link).
Theresa May made clear in her Florence speech that the UK would seek an ‘implementation period’ to allow business to prepare for the new UK-EU relationship.
Last week saw encouraging reports that EU leaders plan to agree to Britain’s request for a two-year transition phase and are ‘set to expand Michel Barnier’s powers to “scope out” future trade and security treaties’ (Sun, September 2017, link).
It should be stressed that the City of London and our financial services industry will remain strong after we leave the EU. The UK’s infrastructure of financial and professional services is unrivalled in Europe and would be very difficult to replicate.
Indeed, a good deal on financial services is in both the UK and the EU’s interests. Wolfgang Schäuble, the former German Finance minister, has said that the City benefits Europe as a whole and the EU should therefore offer a ‘reasonable’ deal to the UK (Reuters, February 2017, link).
A number of City leaders including Barclays CEO Jes Staley, Santander Executive Chairman Ana Botin and Citi EMEA CEO James Cowles have all said that the UK will remain the financial hub of Europe after we leave the EU.
Pro-Remain supporter Stanley Johnson voices support for Brexit
Stanley Johnson, who was a vocal Remain supporter who fronted Environmentalists for Europe during the referendum campaign, has announced his backing for the decision to leave the EU (BrexitCentral, October 2017, link).
Johnson cites Jean-Claude Juncker’s speech last month - which showcased the EU’s intention for greater integration - as the reason why he now believes the UK was right to vote Leave last June.
In his State of the Union address, Mr Juncker called for further integration of member states, suggesting that by 2019 he hoped that ‘being a full member of the euro area, the Banking Union and the Schengen area has become the norm for all EU Member States.’ (European Commission, September 2017, link).
His aim for further powers to be moved from member states to the EU was evident in his wish to merge the jobs of European Council president and European Commission president into a super-president role. Juncker also called on the bloc to pursue a ‘credible enlargement project to the countries of the western Balkans’ (BBC, September 2017, link).
Many people voted Leave in the referendum because they feared Brussels’ plans to seize more power from member states and its wishes to bring more countries into the EU. These recent announcements by Juncker demonstrate why Brits were right to vote Leave, and why former Remain supporters are now also backing Brexit.
Good economic news
The UK has been ranked third for marketplace expansion, in a report by CB Insights comparing 209 - just behind the USA and China. The rankings measure infrastructure, foreign competition and workforce - among other factors. According to CB Insights, the UK has achieved this ranking thanks to an abundance of talent, a burgeoning local tech sector and strong payment infrastructure (Electronics Weekly, October 2017, link).
Dutch finance group TMF is to list on the London stock market and move its headquarters to Britain in a £1 billion flotation (Times, October 2017, link).