PM told to make future of EU city workers a priority

The Lord Mayor of London, Charles Bowman, has raised concerns over the timing of a Brexit transitional deal. He told Theresa May a deal which works for UK and EU citizens is vital to the City.

City of London
Prime Minister Theresa May has been told that she must reach a Brexit deal soon to secure the futures of thousands of EU expats working in financial services in London, because “the City is nothing without its people”.Charles Bowman, the Lord Mayor of the City of London, also told Mrs May – sitting at his side at the annual Lord Mayor’s Banquet on Monday evening – that agreement on arrangements for future, mutual access for financial services must be reached with the remaining members of the EU.

Making a transitional deal which works for London

With Frankfurt emerging as the favourite spot for bank relocations after Brexit, Mr Bowman suggested that most financial workers would prefer to stay in London, rather than move to Germany.“Just like you,” Mr Bowman told Mrs May, “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.”
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Relocation of jobs from the City ‘inevitable’

Mr Bowman’s comments found an echo in an interview on the BBC with Michael Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York and head of the global financial information service.Although Mr Bloomberg said it was inevitable that Brexit would see jobs relocate from London and that the City’s growth potential would be damaged, he had no doubt that London would remain Europe’s main financial hub “for a long time”.He told BBC Radio 4’s programme on Tuesday, “London is always going to be the financial centre of Europe for the foreseeable future. It has the things that the finance industry needs.“It is English-speaking, it is family-friendly, it has a lot of culture, so you can attract those people here. It is a city with the best transportation and communications and scale and it’s already here so it’s hard to see that going away.“What will happen with Brexit is that some jobs will move, although they may very well be replaced here, but that the growth rate of London as a financial centre will certainly not be what it would be if Brexit did not take place.“New York is the financial centre of the United States. London is the financial centre of Europe. It’s going to stay that way for a long time.”For related news and features, visit our Brexit section.Relocate’s new Global Mobility Toolkit provides free information, practical advice and support for HR, global mobility managers and global teams operating overseas.Access hundreds of global services and suppliers in our Online DirectoryClick to get to the Relocate Global Online Directory  

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