City of London Lord Mayor: ‘No deal’ Brexit will hit competitiveness
14 November 2017
Britain must strike a Brexit deal with the European Union which includes early agreement on transition arrangements to safeguard the country's financial services sector, the Lord Mayor of the City of London said.
Charles Bowman suggested a "no deal" exit from the EU would hit the City's competitiveness, and insisted that bankers and other financial workers would rather stay in London than move to Frankfurt.
At the Lord Mayor's Banquet at Guildhall in the City, he told Theresa May that "we need that national deal", and called for mutual market access for financial services in the UK and EU.
Mr Bowman said: "Just like you, we want a good deal that works for Britain, and for our European partners and for the many other financial centres around the world with whom we do business.
"A deal with temporary transition arrangements - agreed early - because businesses and consumers need time to prepare and adjust.
"A deal that provides a comprehensive framework for trade. The International Regulatory Strategy Group proposal, based on mutual market access, provides an excellent model.
"And a deal that gives EU nationals here and UK nationals across Europe certainty as soon as possible. Because the City is nothing without its people.
"This deal is vital because UK financial services are an asset not just on these islands but across the continent. An asset measured in companies developed, pensions delivered and homes built.
"We want that to continue for a long time.
“To secure the future competitiveness of the sector, we need that national deal with our European partners.
“Frankfurt is nice this time of year, in fact any time of year, but London is nicer – always nicer.”
Mr Bowman also stressed the need for the City to rebuild trust with the British public as it is the “lifeblood of any and all organisations”.
“If post-Brexit London is to remain the global hub for financial and professional services, then at a national level we have a responsibility to re-earn the trust of the society we serve,” Mr Bowman said.
“And internationally, we must demonstrate that London continues to invest in being the trusted cluster of choice.”
He said the City of London Corporation will launch its five guiding principles for building trustworthiness at Mansion House later this week.
And he highlighted the creation of a “leaders of tomorrow” group of 100 young City workers, nominated by their employers, who will develop the guiding principles in ways specific to their sector.
Mr Bowman said: “The City’s business is an integral part of our society. There is absolutely no reason why every single one of the UK’s 65 million residents should feel any less proud of it than we do.”